According to a US Department of Veterans Affairs news release announces that more than 500 wheelchair athletes, all US military veterans, have arrived in Richmond, Va, to participate in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The Games are slated to be held June 25 to June 30 and are designed to, “display to the world what we already know about these veterans. At this competition and during their rehabilitation throughout the year, they show the same determination and grit they showed during their service to our nation,” Eric K. Shineski, secretary of Veterans Affairs, says. 

The release reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) present the Games each year as a multi-event sports rehabilitation program, open to US military veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition as a result of spinal cord injuries (SCIs), amputations, or certain neurological problems, and who receive care at VA medical facilities or military treatment centers. The Games are being hosted by the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond and the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

“…As the Games return to the city this year, I know they will inspire everyone—athletes and spectator alike—to reach for the stars, overcome adversity, and to reach their full potential,” Bill Lawson, PVA national president emphasizes.

The games are slated to begin today with a demonstration at the Virginia State Capital, the Department of Veterans Affairs says. Local children with disabilities will also have the opportunity to meet the event’s athletes and learn about wheelchair sports on June 28.

Veterans will reportedly compete in 17 different sports, including air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, weight lifting, handcyclying, nine-ball, table tennis, a motorized wheelchair relay, quad rugby, power soccer, trapshooting, and swimming. The release adds that the stand-up events in archery and table tennis are designed to accommodate athletes with amputations and choose to compete using prosthetic devices rather than wheelchairs.

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Source: VA