The National Veterans Wheelchair Games are the latest event to fall due to COVID-19 pandemic
Amidst concerns of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this summer’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) have been canceled, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced late Wednesday afternoon.
The NVWG, co-sponsored by the VA and Paralyzed Veterans of America, were scheduled to run July 3-8 in Portland, Ore., in what would’ve been the NVWG’s 40th anniversary. PVA President David Zurfluh says they still plan on still holding the 2021 NVWG in New York City with dates to come at a future time.
“While we are saddened to have to cancel the 2020 National Veterans Wheelchair Games that are scheduled to take place this July in Portland, Oregon, this decision was made out of great caution for the health, safety and well-being of our veterans, their families and all involved with the playing of this event,” Zurfluh says in a video message. “VA and PVA, as co-presenters for the Wheelchair Games, look forward to serving participants at the 2021 Games in New York City. Plans are in place to bring the event back to Portland at a future date, and I want to personally thank everyone who was involved with the planning of the Portland Games.”
The VA also released a statement, saying they made the decision “out of an abundance of caution for the health, safety and well-being of vulnerable populations like older veterans and those with underlying medical conditions, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
A Washington resident, Zurfluh was saddened by having to cancel the Games – especially since he only lives 124 miles from Portland. But he says there are more pressing safety concerns right now with COVID-19.
“What’s important now is that we come together during this time of crisis with COVID-19, we unite, we get together – virtually – and that we find the reserve to get through this and put the 2020 Games at everybody’s first-go for next year,” Zurfluh says in the video. “By that time, hopefully, we can celebrate the resolve of this virus and look forward to a greater path. So, everyone, just look forward to meeting in New York City next year for the 2021 Games.”
For more information, visit wheelchairgames.org.