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600 Disabled Veterans Descend on Tampa

Washington (PRWEB) July 13, 2013

Over 600 disabled Veterans from all eras have arrived in Tampa, FL for the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games, the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. Veterans travel from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Great Britain to compete in the Games, taking place July 13-18, 2013, in Tampa, FL.

“The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is another tool VA uses to provide patient-driven, continuity of care that goes far beyond our facilities, said Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Health Robert Petzel, M.D. “Participation in adaptive sports as a key component of physical rehabilitation is well documented, and these Veteran athletes have been training all year to showcase their talents on the world's stage.”

The Games, presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), are open to all U.S. military Veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, neurological conditions, amputations or other mobility impairments. The 33rd Games will be co-hosted by the James A. Haley VA Medical Center and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.

"The Wheelchair Games exemplify the extraordinary ability of veterans who have experienced injury and adversity to achieve success," said Bill Lawson, US Army Veteran and National President of Paralyzed Veterans of America. "I welcome all of the athletes to Tampa this week and look forward to watching them compete."

The Games Opening Ceremony begins Saturday, July 13 at 6p.m. at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Dr. Petzel and Mr. Lawson will provide remarks. Competitive events will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, Pin Chasers Bowling Lanes, Clearwater Long Center, Raymond James Stadium, Silver Dollar Shooter's Club, Jefferson High School, Hillsborough Community College and the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The 33rd Games will include competitions in 18 different events such as swimming, basketball, table tennis, archery, and wheelchair slalom, which is a timed obstacle course. The athletes compete in all events against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age.

In addition to the competitions and the opening and closing ceremonies, the Games will include a "Kids Day at the Games” on Monday, July 15, at Jefferson High School. Local children with disabilities will have the opportunity to interact with the athletes, participate in sporting events, and watch the Veterans compete.

The public is invited to attend any of the sports competitions throughout the week of the Games, and admission is free.

Media Note: B-ROLL video and royalty-free images will be available and updated throughout the week. Please contact Jordan Schupbach for more information

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