A veteran maneuvers his chair through an obstacle during the 2011 NVWG.
Fun facts about the history of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games
This year’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) takes place in Richmond on June 25–30.The largest annual wheelchair sports competition in the world, NVWG offers 17 different sports to veterans who use wheelchairs due to spinal-cord injuries, amputations and certain neurological diseases. The Games promote rehabilitation through rigorous competition in such events as basketball, rugby, softball, handcycling and others.
While past Games have produced national and world-class champions, the event also provides opportunities for newly disabled veterans to gain sports skills and be exposed to other wheelchair athletes.
NVWG is co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and made possible by corporate sponsors who make monetary and in-kind donations.
Did you know:
• The first NVWG (Richmond), in 1981, drew just 74 athletes. The 2010 event in Denver registered 583; the Pittsburgh NVWG (2011) had more than 600 competitors.
• In 1987, twelve British military veterans were invited to participate in the Games, and a team from Great Britain has come every year since.
• 25 cities have hosted the Games.
• San Antonio and Long Beach have done triple duty, hosting the Games three times each.
• Invacare Corporation has been a national sponsor since the first Games.
• Several thousand volunteers assist with all aspects of the Games, from transporting veterans to distributing bottled water and towels.
For more information visit PVA on line.
Enjoy a few photos from the Games in Denver.