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Florida Athletes Prepare for National Veteran Wheelchair Games in Tampa
Date:6/17/2013

Tampa, FL (PRWEB) June 17, 2013

Many Florida Veterans who are wheelchair users have waited for years to participate in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. This year, they get to compete in front of their family, friends and the people of Florida when the Games come to Tampa July 13-18, 2013. This is the second time the Games have been held in Florida; Miami hosted the Games in 1991.

With more than 600 Veterans expected to compete, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the world’s largest annual multi-sport wheelchair event. Athletes come from across the United States, Great Britain and Puerto Rico, and include former servicemen and women who have served from World War II to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, from every branch of military service.

The Florida team is expected to have a formidable presence with athletes coming from across the Tampa Bay area plus Fort Myers, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Hollywood, Palm City, Rivera Beach, Homestead, Haines City, Odessa and several other areas.

There are 18 medal-awarding athletic events in the Games including handcycling, basketball, softball, weightlifting, track, field, swimming and quad rugby, just to name a few. Exhibition events include adaptive tennis and a first in Games’ history, adaptive water skiing. Sporting events will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, the Tampa Bay Times Forum and other Tampa area venues.

St. Petersburg, Fla. resident and U.S. Army Veteran Laura Schwanger is excited about competing with fellow Veterans during the Tampa Games. After a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis ended her military career in 1982, she says competing in wheelchair sports surrounded by her peers introduced her to a whole new world of activity and ultimately, gave her the chance to redefine herself. “I thought, if they can do it, I can do it,” she said.

Schwanger fell in love with track and field. She competed
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