World Sport Chicago Hosts Second Annual Valor Games Midwest
American service members and veterans who are wounded, ill or injured — and wish to explore or compete in organized sports — will meet in Chicago this summer for World Sport Chicago’s second annual Valor Games Midwest, Aug. 13-15.
As the legacy organization remaining from the city’s 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid, World Sport Chicago hosts this three-day event as an adaptive sports competition for service members and veterans with physical and visual disabilities. Valor Games Midwest is the only competition of its kind held in the Midwest region and requires no previous experience for participation. Registration is free and available at http://www.valorgamesmidwest.com.
Nearly 100 athletes participated in the inaugural games – and 150 participants are expected this year. More than 5,000 people attended last year’s opening celebration.
“We were impressed with our athletes’ enthusiasm and dedication during last year’s games and look forward to this year’s competition,” said Susan Katz, Director of Paralympic and Disability Sport at World Sport Chicago, and 2004 Paralympic Games gold medalist in women’s wheelchair basketball. “We are continuing Chicago’s tradition of welcoming service members and disabled veterans across the Midwest and hope to inspire participants through sports.”
The games bring together veterans and active duty service members with physical and visual disabilities and promote sports as a means of personal and community development. Participating athletes may be active duty or veterans. Their disabilities may include: amputation or limb loss, post traumatic stress, spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, visual disabilities or any disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Valor Games Midwest is presented in partnership with U.S. Paralympics, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Chicago Park District. The games begin at Soldier Field with an opening ceremony, followed by field events. The second day hosts cycling and archery at U.S. Cellular Field. Finally, the event concludes with powerlifting and indoor rowing on the third day at the Chicago Park District’s Armour Square Park.
The Valor Games will share the stage with the Veterans Career Hiring Event, which is hosted by the American Freedom Foundation and presented by CareerBuilder. The fair provides community resources for veterans, as well as opportunities for qualified veteran candidates to meet with potential employers.
Athletes will also have an opportunity to try a variety of Paralympic sports, including judo, wheelchair basketball and sled hockey and learn about ongoing sports opportunities in their local communities from Chicagoland Paralympic Sport Clubs and other community organizations.
Location: Soldier Field, 1410 South Museum Campus Dr.
Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Events: Opening ceremony, field events
Information for Veterans: American Freedom Foundation’s Veterans Career Hiring Event
Location: U.S. Cellular Field parking lot and left field, 333 W. 35th St.
Time: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Events: Cycling (upright bicycles, recumbent bikes, handcycles and tandem bikes) and archery (left field)
Location: Armour Square Park, 3309 S. Shields Ave. (Chicago Park District, between 33rd St. & 34th St.)
Time: 9 a.m. – noon
Events: Power lifting and indoor rowing
ABOUT WORLD SPORT CHICAGO
World Sport Chicago (WSC) is the legacy organization of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The focus of World Sport Chicago is to increase the opportunities for youth across Chicago of all abilities to participate in Olympic and Paralympic sport, to provide sport opportunities for Chicago area veterans and to extend Chicago’s international outreach through and for sport and youth. The organization has helped launch sport programs across the city in sports as diverse as archery, track, wrestling, and weightlifting, as well as Paralympic programs such as judo for kids with visual impairments, boccia and cycling. Additionally World Sport Chicago has established a college scholarship program for youth who have demonstrated a commitment to sport and the Olympic values. Pat Ryan is Chairman, Bill Scherr, an Olympic medalist in wrestling, is president and Scott Myers serves as the executive director. For more information, visit http://www.worldsportchicago.org.
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