The Wheel Thing

Opening ceremonies for the thirtieth annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games start at 11:30 a.m. today in Civic Center Park, but the fireworks will continue all week: You won’t find a more moving way to celebrate our nation’s independence or the fighting spirit of those who have defended it.

This is the first time the Games have been held in Colorado, and athletes will be competing in seventeen events (as well as offering a kayaking exhibition tomorrow at Fishback Landing Park), including bowling, table tennis, power soccer, wheelchair slalom, archery, weightlifting, swimming, handcycling, basketball, field events, and, yes, quad rugby. “The 2005 documentary Murderball really generated a lot of interest in wheelchair sports and quad rugby in particular,” says NVWG spokeswoman Kim Byers. “Wheelchair sports are sport at its best, and they can be brutal, high-energy events. It’s hard to walk away unaffected by the athleticism, camaraderie and level of competition among all of the competitors.”

All the events are free and open to the public, at venues around town ranging from Invesco Field to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, City Park, the Colorado Convention Center and Brunswick Zone. Mark your calendar for the Murderball Championships at 3 p.m. on July 9, and then go to www.wheelchairgames.va.gov for the complete schedule.
July 4-9, 2010

 
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