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National Veterans Wheelchair Games athletes come from nearly every generation of veterans, from World War II to the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. From newly injured first-time competitors to Paralympic athletes, each veteran brings his or her own unique story of recovery through strength and perseverance.

For many of our athletes, the Wheelchair Games is their first exposure to competitive wheelchair sports.


Dan Rose, U.S. Army Veteran

“You’re going to see people there who have injuries that are worse than yours, doing things that you thought were impossible. And that’s going to change your outlook on life.”

Jimmy Green, U.S. Army Veteran

“I learned that you can be the athlete you once were – just in a different way. The Wheelchair Games literally opened the door to the rest of my life.”

RJ Anderson, U.S. Army Veteran

“The Wheelchair Games were the first thing that really got me going. It helped my morale a lot to be around all those soldiers and veterans.”

Doris Merrill, U.S. Navy Veteran

“You can’t believe what the Wheelchair Games mean to me and to everyone. The camaraderie is unbelievable, it’s an experience you can’t forget.”

Josue Cordova, U.S. Air Force Veteran

“It was one of the first times that I felt normal. I sat in the lobby, and there were hundreds of wheelchairs, and you know what? I didn’t feel alone.”

Karla Clay, U.S. Air Force Veteran

“If you’d told me I’d be doing all these things 10 years ago, I would’ve thought you were crazy. Now I have three gold medals, a silver, and a bronze – thanks to the Wheelchair Games.”

Sualauvi Tuimalealiifano, U.S. Army Veteran

“Sports have been a complete game-changer for me. They have given me a sense of purpose, the means to stay fit, and goals to keep getting better.”

Ted Rake, U.S. Army Veteran

“The athletes were making the most of what they had, and they were getting it done. I was so motivated when I came back. It has absolutely changed my life.”