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The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the world’s largest annual wheelchair sports and rehabilitation event solely for military veterans. The event demonstrates the unstoppable character of veterans and seeks to foster wider respect and opportunities for all people with disabilities.
The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is open to all U.S. veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, multiple sclerosis, or other central neurological conditions who require a wheelchair for athletic competition. Every year, hundreds of American heroes from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the post-9/11 era compete in this celebration of sport, courage and camaraderie.


The Department of Veterans Affairs launched the Wheelchair Games in 1981 with 7 events and 77 athletes. Paralyzed Veterans of America joined the VA in 1985 to help expand the event’s mission and reach. The Wheelchair Games has flourished as more VA therapists turn to adaptive sports to help veterans become more active in their lives and communities – and, in some cases, reach higher levels of national and international competition. Over the years, thousands of veterans with disabilities have gained the skills, confidence, and experience to take on challenges in the spirit of opportunity rather than limitation.




Every year, one athlete at the National Veterans Wheelchair games who shows exceptional drive and commitment will receive the “Spirit of the Games” award.

2022       LeToi Adams

Tony Jungblut

William Hendrikson

2021       Twilia Adams

2018       Keith Thompson

2017       Ardrena Bailey

2016       Jeff DeLeon

2015       Eugene Tatom

2014       Gabriel Diaz de Leon

2013       Mike Savicki

2012       Phil Rosenberg

2011       Jerry “Bull” Baylor

2010       Patricia LaBar

2009       George Norton

2008       Gus Sorenson

2007       Joe Velasquez

2006       Charles Allen

2005       Orlando Perez

2004       Gary Pearson

2003       Wayne Miller

2002       Ken Medeiros

2001       Laura Schwanger

2000       Larry Hughes

1999       Ken Huber

1998       Gil Garcia

1997       Robert Patrick Sapp

1996       Holly Koester

1995       Penny Gillett

James Torres

1994       Tim Davis

1993       Hope Cooper

1992       Kater Cornwell

1991       Max Rhodes

1990       Mike Trujillo

1989       Jim Martinson

1988       Ken Wright

1987       Russ Monroe