Richmond, Virginia, welcomed the best of the best athletes on wheels, as the National Veterans Wheelchair Games went home to where it all began with the 32nd Games, held from June 25 to 30, 2012.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shared details from the event, which was graced by more than 500 of the best wheelchair athletes in America, all of whom have valiantly served their country. The Games are presented each year by the VA and the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
The Wheelchair Games is a rehabilitation program consisting of multiple events that are open to U.S. military Veterans who use wheelchairs as a result of spinal cord injuries, amputations, or neurological problems, and who are receiving treatment and care from military treatment centers and VA medical facilities. It was first held in 1981, a year that was also observed as the “International Year of Disabled Persons,” at the VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia.
Eric K. Shinseki, VA Secretary, shared: “The Games 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 that they showed during their service to our Nation.”
Bill Lawson, national president of the PVA, was also quoted saying: “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.”