By Debbie Gregory.
Co-Presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the 35th National Veterans Wheelchair Games will take place June 21–26, 2015 in Dallas, TX.
The sports program empowers Veterans with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, amputations and other neurological injuries to live more active and healthy lives through wheelchair sports and recreation. This year, more than 600 of America’s best wheelchair athletes will be participating.
“The Wheelchair Games are a great example of courage and athleticism,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “These Veterans have overcome obstacles, they’ve trained, they’ve persevered, and now they’re ready to compete on the world’s stage.”
While physical activity is important to maintaining good health, speeding recovery and improving overall quality of life, there are precautions that need to be taken. For many injured Veterans, the Games provide their first exposure to wheelchair athletics. And this year’s game will see temperatures in the 90s. The high temperatures, combined with the potential for high humidity, could make wheelchair athletes – particularly those with high-level quadriplegia and paraplegia – susceptible to Poikilothermia, or the inability to regulate core body temperature.
Because of the high temperatures, the coordinators of this year’s games have scheduled the outdoor events from roughly 8 a.m. to noon, when temperatures will typically be lower, and the indoor events during the hotter temperatures in the afternoon.
Veterans at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games will compete in 18 events: air guns, archery, basketball, boccia, bowling, handcycling, a motorized wheelchair rally, nine ball, power soccer, quad rugby, slalom, softball, swimming, table tennis, track and field, trapshooting and weightlifting. This year’s Wheelchair Games will also feature a rowing exhibition. Athletes compete in all events against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age.
For a complete schedule of events and additional information about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games visit www.wheelchairgames.org.
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Dallas To Host 35th National Veterans Wheelchair Games : Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory