Disabled Veterans gather for National Wheelchair Olympics

PHILADELPHIA – More than 600 military veterans from across the United States arrived in Philadelphia this week for the annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

This multisport rehabilitation event hosts athletes with spinal cord injuries, amputations and neurological problems, who use wheelchairs in sports competition. The event is presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

“I have been doing this since my injury and there is no better feeling. The Wheelchair Games is something to look forward to,” Tai Cleveland, a Marine Corps veteran, told O&P Business News. “This event means a lot. Even though we are in a chair we don’t have any limitations.”

A total of 18 competitive sports are taking place, including swimming, basketball, rugby and wheelchair slalom. Athletes compete against others with similar physical ability, competitive experience and age.

The event will also feature “Kids Day at the Games,” where local children with physical disabilities will meet athletes and learn about wheelchair sports.

Many of the games are being held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Other events will take place in venues across Philadelphia and New Jersey. Admission is free and all events are open to the public.

According to the VA, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games has produced a number of national and world champions in the disabled community. It is an opportunity for newly disabled veterans to gain exposure to wheelchair sports. – by Shawn M. Carter

Athletes compete in a game of quad rugby at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

Source: Carter SM. O&P Business News.

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