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Intersection: Central Florida Athletes Compete In National Veterans Wheelchair Games

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Athletes competing in the 2009 National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Photo: Staff Sgt Anthony Ennamorato, US Air Force

Hundreds of athletes compete in Cincinnati this week at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, including some from Central Florida.

Steve Kirk, president of the Central Florida chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and John DeMauro, the group’s executive director spoke with 90.7’s Catherine Welch about the role of sports in improving the lives of the organization’s members.

DeMauro said the National Veterans Wheelchair games is one of the biggest wheelchair events in the country. The event includes Olympic style competitions from archery, to power-lifting.

“We have a member in our organization, he’s a Vietnam veteran, he’s 72 years old, and he can power-lift 235 pounds. He’s a double amputee, and paralyzed,” DeMauro said.

Kirk said the organization uses sports as a way to get people out, and help them socialize.

“This way they get out and they can see more people and get a better idea on how to get through life and handle the challenges that comes their way,” he said.

Orlando will be hosting 2018’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games at the Orange County Convention Center.


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