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Strength - The 24th National Veterans Wheelchair Games

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Last weekend, in St. Louis, the 24th National Veterans Wheelchair Games were held. The competitions included swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, archery, air guns, basketball, softball, quad rugby, bowling, handcycling, wheelchair slalom, handcycling, track and field. Track events included 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 5000 meter races. Field events included club throw, shot put, discus, and javelin. Trap shooting was an exhibition event this year (one I hope makes it to competitive level next year).

You can read more about the individual athletes and their determination here and here.

Finally, an Army soldier who was paralyzed in a traffic accident in Iraq won the gold medal for weight lifting.

Veterans go for gold in Wheelchair games
By Courtney Hickson

WASHINGTON (Army News Service June 21, 2004-- One Iraqi Freedom veteran who lost the use of his legs when his Humvee was sideswiped in Iraq, has taken home a gold medal at the 24th National Veterans Wheelchair Games, in St. Louis, Mo.

Sgt. Johnnie Williams won the gold medal in weightlifting and is also competing in air gun shooting, the discus, shot put and javelin, all field events.

Williams had only been in Iraq for four months when he was injured in May of 2003. He is currently undergoing spinal cord therapy and rehabilitation at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tampa, Fla., his hometown.

"Live life to the fullest because you never know if you’ll live to see tomorrow," he said...

So go check out the profiles of these tough competitors.

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