This week Richmond is hosting the 32nd Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games, a multi-event sports and rehabilitation program for military service veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations or certain neurological problems. Attracting more than 500 athletes each year, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world, and Richmond is lucky to be hosting the Games, its athletes and their families.
Competitive events at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games include air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, field events, handcycling, a motorized wheelchair rally, nine-ball, power soccer, quad rugby, slalom, softball, swimming, table tennis, track, trapshooting and weightlifting. While past Games have produced a number of national and world-class champions, the Games also provide opportunities for newly-disabled veterans to gain sports skills and be exposed to other wheelchair athletes.
According to Bill Lawson, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America, which is co-presenting the event along with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “The National Veterans Wheelchair Games started in the city of Richmond whose motto is ‘Thus do we reach the stars.’ As the Games return to the city this year, I know they will inspire everyone — athletes and spectators alike — to reach for the stars, to overcome adversity, and to reach their full potential.”
Admission is free to all events, and Richmonders are encouraged to attend to show our appreciation and support for the heroic athletes who have sacrificed so much for our country. The Wheelchair Games are amazing to watch, and provide us Richmond parents with a valuable opportunity to experience with our children lessons of bravery, sacrifice, tenacity, and personal strength.
Events are held at several locations throughout Richmond from June 25-30, including the Richmond Convention Center and The Diamond. Visit the Games website for schedule and location information.