More than 300 veterans took to the slopes last week while competing in the 25th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The Winter Sports Clinic provides injured veterans and those who have just recently become injured or disabled the opportunity to competitively take part in rehabilitative and adaptive winter sporting events.
The very nature of the clinic’s events push the competitors to go beyond what they believed possible, given their injuries. Most discover they were not as limited as they believed they were before competing. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Sec. Eric Shinseki praised the competitors as year-round inspirations, and not just because of their efforts during the competition.
The clinic is sponsored by both the VA and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). It is a rehabilitation program and veterans suffering from particular conditions and receiving care at any VA health care facility are eligible. The Winter Sports Clinic should be considered an expansion of the daily rehabilitative care provided by the veterans’ local VA medical centers. Those conditions include:
- spinal cord injuries or disease;
- visual impairments;
- specific neurological conditions;
- orthopedic amputations; and
- specific other disabilities.
The clinic lasted for 6 days, and consisted of multiple adaptive sporting events. The events included lessons on adaptive skiing, both Nordic and Alpine, as well as scuba diving, rock climbing, sled hockey, and trap-shooting.
The more successful athletes at the clinic may qualify to participate in even more competitive events. The VA partners with the U.S. Paralympics to introduce successful adaptive athletes to higher end levels of competition at the Paralympic games.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.