The 2014 National Veterans Wheelchair Games is taking place this week in the heart of Philadelphia, a city culturally diverse and rich in history. Some of the greatest wheelchair athletes in the world will have an opportunity to make a little history of their own.
These athletes are good! Here are just a few of the highlights from last year:
The city of brotherly love: Where liberty lives, Rocky rules and now the city where heroes will make history.
With a reputation as a serious sports town, the athletes will feel right at home in Philadelphia and fans will turn out to cheer them onto victory as they go for the gold, silver and bronze.
The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is an annual event sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). More than 500 Veterans compete in 17 sporting events to include basketball, handcycling and rugby.
The event is a 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 games are the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world.
The presenters of this event are committed to improving the quality of life for Veterans with disabilities and fostering better health through sports competition. 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.
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, athletes compete in all events against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age.
The Philadelphia VA Medical Center is the host for the 2014 Games.