More than 600 veterans and 3,000 volunteers will converge in Cincinnati next week for the 37th National Veterans Wheelchair Games, held July 17-22. The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the largest annual wheelchair multi-sport and rehabilitation event in the world.
Beginning Monday, July 17, hundreds of athletes will compete in 18 sporting events, including basketball, quad rugby, power soccer, softball, swimming and weightlifting, among others. Events will take place at the Duke Energy Convention Center and various venues throughout the Cincinnati region, and are free and open to the public.
“We are thrilled to hold this year’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Cincinnati, a truly great American city,” said Al Kovach, national president of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. “Between the inspiring athletes, the incredible support from the local community and the extraordinary sporting events that will take place, this week is sure to be unforgettable for both the athletes and for Cincinnati.”
“Cincinnati has a strong history of world-class athletes, but nothing compares to the strength and determination of these incredible veterans. We are proud to welcome such an admirable group to our city, and look forward to cheering them on throughout this week’s Games,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The National Veterans Wheelchair Games will be a community-wide event, with more than 3,000 local volunteers providing a safe and positive experience for the veteran athletes. Several of Cincinnati’s largest companies, including General Electric, Fifth Third, Proctor & Gamble and Vitas, have volunteers enrolled throughout the week.
In addition to support from volunteers, the Games have been heavily supported by an influx of monetary donations, reaching record-breaking marks in terms of donations received.
“The civic engagement surrounding this event is a testament to Cincinnati’s deep commitment to hospitality,” said Lincoln. “Cincinnati has proven itself as a welcoming destination for all, and the way our region has come together for the Games epitomizes the spirit of the community we’re proud to call home.”
Noteworthy events throughout the National Veterans Wheelchair Games include:
Athletes start to arrive at CVG on Sunday, July 16
Media Day – Monday, July 17 – 10:30 a.m. – Fountain Square
(Featuring a Slalom event exhibit - a winding, zigzag course marked by obstacles and barriers)
Opening Ceremonies – Monday, July 17 – 6 p.m. – Duke Energy Convention Center
(Emcee – Sean Casey, former Cincinnati Reds first baseman)
Kids Day – Wednesday, July 19 – 1 p.m. – Duke Energy Convention Center
(Children ages 4-16 from the Tri-State who are in wheelchairs or have mobility limitations will be teamed up with mentors who are athletes participating in the Games and will play a round-robin style of four sports – softball, basketball, slalom and boccia.)
Motor Rally – Wednesday, July 19 – 1 p.m.
(Motorized race, similar to a poker run, which will begin at the Duke Energy Convention Center and conclude at Smale Park)
Block Party – Thursday, July 20 – 4:30 p.m.
(Between Duke Energy Convention Center and Millennium Hotel, featuring Sonny Moorman Band)
Championship Games for Team Sports – Saturday, July 22
(1 p.m. – Quad Rugby // 3 p.m. – Basketball and Power Soccer)
Closing Banquet – Saturday, July 22 – 6:30 p.m. – Duke Energy Convention Center
(Emcee – Kristyn Hartman, WCPO Anchor)
Click here for a complete schedule of events.