Hundreds of wheelchair athletes—all US veterans—are arriving in Dallas to participate in the 35th National Veterans Wheelchair Games, taking place June 21 through 26, a release from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reports.
The Games are a multievent sports rehabilitation program presented by the VA and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. According to the release, they are open to US military veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations, or certain neurological problems, and who receive care at VA medical facilities or military treatment centers.
For many disabled veterans, the Games provide their first exposure to wheelchair athletics, the release explains. Wheelchair athletes from every state in the nation, as well as from Puerto Rico and Great Britain, are participating this year.
“The Wheelchair Games is a great example of courage and athleticism,” says VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald in the release. “These Veterans have overcome obstacles, they’ve trained, they’ve persevered, and now they’re ready to compete on the world’s stage.”
“For 35 years now, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games have provided a venue for veterans to experience the life-changing power of adaptive sports,” says Al Kovach, Jr, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America, in the release. “We’re proud to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs each year to present the Games.”
Opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the Games’ competitive events, are being held in various venues throughout the Dallas metroplex.
The Games are occurring this year during the VA’s summer of service, which according to the VA is designed to increase the numbers of individuals and organizations that are serving veterans in their communities.
[Source: Department of Veterans Affairs]