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Orlando VA Medical Center

 

Orlando 2018 Veterans Wheelchair Games

Jason Siegel, Interim President/CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission, Orlando VA Medical Center Director Tim Liezert, Orange County Vice Mayor Victoria Siplin, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Paralyzed Veterans of America National Vice-President Ken Weas at the press conference.

Orlando Selected to Host 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Orlando VA Medical Center and Paralyzed Veterans of America, in partnership with the City of Orlando, Orange County and Central Florida Sports Commission announced today that Orlando, FL has been selected to host the 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The Games will be played at multiple facilities throughout greater Orlando from July 29-August 4, 2018.

“Once again our collaborative and inclusionary community has come together to bring this tremendous event to the greater Orlando area. In addition to providing a positive experience for the athletes and their families, we expect that the games will bring more than $4 million in economic impact to the region,” noted Jason Siegel, Interim President/CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission.

“It was an honor today to announce that the Orlando VA Medical Center and the Central Florida Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America will host the 2018 National Veterans Wheelchair Games,” said Orlando VA Medical Center Director Tim Liezert. “Adaptive sports aides in the recovery process for many Veterans while providing therapeutic value and a feeling of comradery with other athletes. By hosting the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, we hope to provide an introduction for veterans to the power that sports can have in healing. That we are not defined by our physical or mental limitations. All it takes is the courage to make that first effort.”

“Not only is Orlando quickly becoming the nation's premier sporting event destination, we're also a veteran-friendly community that values the men and women who have served our country," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "Our city is thrilled to have the opportunity to host the 2018 National Veterans Wheelchair Games and we're ready to support these heroes when they compete in Orlando."

“I am elated that Orange County joined forces with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America to host the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. This partnership demonstrates our County Government’s continued commitment to improving our veterans’ health and independence,” said Vice Mayor Victoria P. Siplin.

Attracting more than 600 athletes and 4,000 volunteers each year, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. The Games serve as a rehabilitation and wheelchair sports program empowering Veterans with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, amputations and other neurological injuries to live a more active and healthy lifestyle through sports and recreation.

Over the years, the Games have produced a number of national and world-class champions. The event provides the opportunity for newly disabled Veterans to get involved and push further than they thought possible. Typically, one quarter of the competitors are new to the Games.

Veterans will compete in 19 wheelchair sports events that range from swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, archery, air guns, basketball, boccia, nine ball, softball, quad rugby, bowling, handcycling, trapshooting, wheelchair slalom, power soccer, a motorized wheelchair rally and track and field. Athletes compete in all events against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience, or age.

For more information about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games contact Coordinator Karen Shamlin at karen.shamlin2@va.gov or (321) 246-0805.

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