National Veterans Wheelchair Games Coming to Tampa

National Veterans Wheelchair Games Coming to Tampa

Times staff

TAMPA, Fla. - In the summer of 2012, Tampa will be awash in red, white and blue as the Republican National Convention convenes to nominate its presidential contender.

And now comes word that the next summer, in 2013, Tampa will host hundreds of men and women who fought for those colors and now must use a wheelchair.

Tampa Bay has been selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America to host the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games taking place from July 13-18. More than 500 veterans with disabilities will meet in Tampa to compete in the largest annual wheelchair sporting event in the world, according to a news release about the games.

Veterans will compete in 17 competitive events, including air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, field, handcycling, motorized wheelchair rally, nineball, power soccer, quad rugby, softball, swimming, table tennis, track, trapshooting, weightlifting, and wheelchair slalom.

The 2013 event will mark the 33rd year of the games. It’s the second time it will have been held in Florida; Miami hosted the games in 1991.

The Tampa Convention Center and St. Pete Times Forum will serve as the main venues for the games, with other local venues hosting ancillary events, including bowling, swimming, track, field, motorized rally, trapshooting and archery.

The James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, along with the Florida Gulf Coast and Central Florida Chapters of Paralyzed Veterans of America are partners in hosting the 2013 event, the news release said.