San Antonio hosting Valor Games
Veterans with physical disabilities show competitive side
SAN ANTONIO – Mission Concepcion Sports Park will host nearly 90 athletes for three days taking part in the Valor Games.
This is the first time they have been held in San Antonio. The games are designed to introduce wounded military veterans to Paralympic sports.
"We understand that sports is a way for injured vets and service members to reconnect with their competitive side," said Kallie Quinn, organizer of the Valor Games.
The games were started in 2010 in Chicago and have expanded to four cities, including San Antonio.
There are a variety of events for athletes to take part in, from sit-down volleyball to archery to fencing. The games are about the competition and the camaraderie.
"I come to see my fellow brothers cause when you out it's not the same," said Richard Stalder, a marine and traumatic brain injury survivor.
Anne Oravec is from Denver and spent eight years with the U.S. Army's military police. She spent a tour in Iraq and also suffers from a TBI.
"It really helps, you get out there challenging yourself in different ways, just to have fun," Oravec said.
One of the team sports is three-on-three basketball. The winners of the tournament get to play an exhibition game with three members of the San Antonio Spurs: Matt Bonner, Aron Baynes and Tiago Splitter.
"It's a completely different animal playing basketball in a wheelchair," said Bonner.
"We cut them down to our size and we were good to go," said Edwin Gonzalez, member of the Championship team. They beat the Spurs in a ten minute exhibition, 28-6.
"They were kind to come out here and play with us," Gonzalez said.
The games will end Wednesday.
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