Enthusiasm is running high for the 2016 National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) in Salt Lake City – with organizers on the local and national level coming together to make it another life-changing week for Veterans with disabilities.
The 36th annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) – co-presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America – will feature the program’s signature 19 wheelchair sports and two exhibition sports for disabled Veterans June 27-July 2, 2016, in the scenic capital city of Utah.
“We are overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Salt Lake City community – the volunteers and sponsors who are coming out to support this event,” said David Tostenrude, Games director for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “The enthusiasm from the 2002 Winter Olympics is spilling over to the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, and that will make the program all the more special.”
Tostenrude along with national representatives from the VA and Paralyzed Veterans of America – including Games founder and Paralyzed Veterans of America Games director Tom Brown – gathered in Salt Lake City in late April to work with local organizers for the 2016 Games.
The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and the Mountain States Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America are effectively collaborating to ensure the Games offer top-notch venues, hotels, transportation and hospitality, Tostenrude said.
Several businesses in and around Salt Lake City also are ramping up support for the Games, going so far as letting employees off for a day or half-day to volunteer at the Games, Brown said.
“The Utah Transit Authority is bending over backwards not only to get the veterans to and from the venues in a timely manner, but also providing support for volunteers to get to the convention center,” Brown said.
The theme of the 2016 Games – Strive, Live, Conquer – will be evident in events and presentations throughout the week. Triathlon, offered in partnership with USA Paratriathlon, and bobsledding, a new Paralympic winter sport, will be featured as this year’s exhibition sports.
The Games will kick off on June 27, 2016, with the annual Disabled Sports, Recreation and Fitness Expo, a tradeshow of more than 50 sports and recreation organizations and companies that provide health, wellness and accessibility products.
Veterans, families and volunteers participating in the 2016 NVWG are encouraged to book travel and hotel arrangements as soon as possible. Hotel information can be found at this link.
“So many are showing support above and beyond to ensure the success of the 2016 Games,” Brown said. “We can’t wait.”
Brittany Ballenstedt is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in several publications, including Government Executive, National Journal, Technology Daily and NextGov.com.