In 1981, the first ever Veterans Wheelchair Games. Sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the event brought together some of the best wheelchair athletes in America. It wasn’t long before Paralyzed Veterans of America joined in, paving the way for corporate sponsorship. Now, 31 years later after they began, the Veterans Wheelchair Games have to returned to where they started: Richmond, Virginia.
Today marks the beginning of the 32nd annual Wheelchair Games. Over the next few days, 620 athletes will be competing in everything from basketball to archery to bowling. The purpose of the games isn’t just for the athletes but for the people watching as well. Every year, people are inspired and hopes are lifted as the competitors show that they haven’t given up on their dreams.
The fact that the games have returned to Richmond is a testament to accessibility advancement in the city. The historic Virginia city has been trying to get the games back for years, but it has been unable to provide efficient access to the competitors. Thanks to new hotel developments in the downtown area, however, the games were finally able to return.
If you want to keep up with the games as they progress, following @VAadaptivesport on twitter or like this Facebook page.
For more information on this year’s games and past games, visit the official page on the Paralyzed Veterans of America site here.