James Carville got a little bit more than he gambled for at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Photo Christopher DiVirgilio
James Carville shows up at National Veterans Wheelchair Games
James Carville got a little bit more than he gambled for at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games on Wednesday morning.
Watching around 50 veterans compete in the para-bobsled exhibition event, the 71-year-old Fox News channel contributor and political commentator decided to try out riding in a bobsled himself.
James Carville (second back) gets ready to experience para-bobsled at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Photo Christopher DiVirgilio
It was quite the adrenaline-filled experience. He even cut his knuckle while riding down the track in Winter Park, Utah, which hosted the 2002 Olympic Games bobsled event.
“It’s more than I thought it was going to be. You’re going 70 miles an hour but you’re just sitting on the ground. You’re going around those curves, it was pretty thrilling,” said Carville, a military veteran himself who served two years in the Marine Corps. “I’d kind of watched it on television (on the) Olympics, you know, and said ‘well, gee.’ You get to see it’s more than you think.”
Another celebrity showed up for the NVWG, co-sponsored by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Evander Holyfield showed up unannounced at last year’s Games in Dallas, greeting athletes and their families and friends while they participated in track and field and then coming back to the hotel area to get an air gun lesson.
This year, it was Carville.
He’s recently recorded public service announcements for PVA discussing how PVA helps ensure veterans with spinal-cord injuries receive the quality health care, benefits and rehabilitation programs they need and deserve.
He was out on the West Coast and thought why not attend the event, which started Monday and runs through Saturday. He understands what it means for veterans, including paralyzed veterans, to have support and an event like this.
“I just wish everybody could experience it. First of all, the level of competition is really something to see and, secondly, how much joy that these paralyzed vets take in being able to do something like this and having an event like this and thinking it means a lot to them,” Carville said. “There’s a lot of camaraderie out here, a lot of love, a lot of respect. I’m a veteran myself and have a soft spot for veterans.”