WASHINGTON (Aug. 1, 2011) – More than 600 disabled Veteran athletes will
compete in a variety of sport competitions at the 31st National Veterans
Wheelchair Games in Pittsburgh, Aug. 1-6. The event is presented each
year by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Paralyzed
Veterans of America (PVA).
"The National Veterans Wheelchair Games feature some of the most
competitive and accomplished wheelchair athletes in the world," said
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
Athletes will compete in 17 different sports, including: air guns,
archery, basketball, bowling, field events, handcycling, nine-ball, a
motorized wheelchair relay, power soccer, quad rugby, softball,
swimming, table tennis, track, trapshooting, weightlifting and
The weeklong event will be webcast at www.wheelchairgames.va.gov.
Highlights for Aug. 1 include the 2011 Disabled Sports, Recreation and
Fitness Expo, plus the games kick-off and opening ceremonies. The expo
takes place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention
Center. Jessica Lynch, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and former
POW, will attend to meet with the athletes.
The kick-off takes place at 11:30 a.m. on the Roberto Clemente Bridge
and features a slalom exhibition, in which wheelchair athletes maneuver
around and through difficult obstacles.
Opening ceremonies, also Aug. 1, take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in the
David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The lighting of the Games torch
marks the official start of the 31th National Veterans Wheelchair Games.
Several top VA and PVA leaders will be on hand during the Games. VA
officials scheduled to attend include John R. Gingrich, chief of staff;
Dr. Robert A. Petzel, under secretary for health; and John M. Garcia,
deputy assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs. Officials
from PVA include Bill Lawson, national president; Homer S. Townsend Jr.,
executive director; and several members of Paralyzed Veterans' Executive
Committee and Board of Directors.
Other highlights include Kids Day on Aug. 5 at Shady Side Academy, where
local children with disabilities will meet the athletes and learn about
Events will be held at venues throughout the community, including: the
David L. Lawrence Convention Center; the University of Pittsburgh;
Clemente Bridge, Clairton Sportsmen's Club; North Shore; Princess Lanes
and others. Admission is free and the community is encouraged to
The Keystone Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America and the VA
Pittsburgh Healthcare System are hosting the 2011 Games. For more
information about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, visit the
Games website at: www.wheelchairgames.va.gov.
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans