Talk about extreme sports! At the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, veterans who have spinal cord injuries, amputations, are visually impaired, or have other physical disabilities are taught to ski, snowmobile, go scuba diving, rock climbing, and lots of other exciting sports. These activities help build confidence Ė after all, once youíve gone skiing, most other things just donít seem nearly as scary. An excellent means of rehabilitation for disabled veterans, this annual event is also extreme fun!
VA holds the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. After WWII, veterans who were injured came back to the U.S. and began playing wheelchair basketball in VA hospitals. Soon, there were more and more sports for people in wheelchairs to compete in. The National Veterans Wheelchair Games has 16 different competitive sports for veterans, from wheelchair softball and rugby, to swimming, basketball, track, and lots more. They all help veterans who use wheelchairs feel healthier and become stronger. Today, itís possible to compete in just about any sport from a wheelchair Ė and most of them take place at the Wheelchair Games.
Staying active is good, whether you are 15 or 95. The National Veterans Golden Age Games offer veterans who are 55 years old or older the opportunity to compete against their peers in sports like swimming, bowling and the pentathlon, as well as in board games like checkers and dominoes. Participants who come to this event benefit from social interaction with their fellow veterans, and have the opportunity to visit different areas of the country. Keeping active and staying fit is important for everyone, including those age 55 and over. The veterans who participate in the Golden Age Games serve as excellent role models for all Americans.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival displays the creative talents of our nationís veterans. Every year, an art competition is held at VA medical centers all across the country in drama, dance, music and visual art. The first-place winners in local competitions are invited to attend the annual festival. There, the veterans participate in artistic workshops. At the end of the week, they perform in a two-hour stage show. The veterans in this very special event demonstrate how the arts can provide great therapy for those recovering from physical or emotional problems.