(TAMPA, Fla.) - More than 600 disabled veterans are in Tampa, competing in the 33rd annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The Games run through July 18th. The athletes include former servicemen and women from across the U.S., Great Britain and Puerto Rico. 38 are from Florida.
The games are the largest annual multi-sport wheelchair event in the world. There are a number of national and world-class champions competing, but the games also provide opportunities for newly-disabled veterans to gain sports skills and be exposed to other wheelchair athletes. About one quarter of the competitors have never before participated in any type of organized wheelchair sports competition.
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. Winners are presented Olympic-style gold, silver, and bronze medals.
For more information, head to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website: <http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/wcg/index.asp>