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six-day event

VA Kicks Off Disabled Veterans Winter Clinic

More than 400 with Disabilities Expected in Colorado


WASHINGTON (March 19, 2010) - More than 400 injured Veterans have signed

up to take part in the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic

in Snowmass Village, Colo., the largest adaptive event of its kind in

the world, scheduled from March 28 through April 2.


"This VA Winter Clinic is an extension of the superb rehabilitative care

Veterans receive daily at VA medical centers across the county," said

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Through sports and

other forms of recreation therapy, we can greatly improve the quality of

life for many of our nation's heroes."


On March 11, Shinseki led the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremony of

the Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada. Since 2005, VA has had a

partnership with the U.S. Paralympics that establishes VA's Winter

Sports Clinic as a pipeline to provide participants to American

paralympic teams engaged in national and international competition.


The Winter Sports Clinic, which is sponsored by VA and the Disabled

American Veterans (DAV), teaches Veterans with disabilities about

adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing. It also introduces them to a number

of other adaptive recreational activities and sports. This year's event

will feature Veterans from the current conflicts in Iraq and



Now in its 24th year, the clinic is an annual rehabilitation program

open to U.S. military Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal

cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, certain

neurological problems and other disabilities, who receive care at a VA

medical facility or military treatment center.


To meet the unique needs of participants, an estimated 200 certified ski

instructors for the disabled and several current and former members of

the U.S. Disabled Ski Team will serve as instructors.


"The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is the highlight of

the year for many of our nation's most profoundly disabled Veterans,"

said DAV National Commander Roberto Barrera. "There is no event that

comes close, either in terms of participation or the availability of

rehabilitative events for the Veterans who make the journey. We're

proud to again co-sponsor this event with our partners at VA and look

forward to another year of Miracles on a Mountainside."


At the six-day event, Veterans also learn rock climbing, scuba diving,

snowmobiling, curling and sled hockey. Other highlights include a

self-defense workshop taught by the U.S. Secret Service and the

attendance of Olympic Alpine skier Bode Miller.


VA is a recognized leader in rehabilitative and recreational therapies,

and operates more than 1,400 sites of care, including 153 medical

centers. DAV is a non-profit, congressionally chartered Veterans

service organization with a membership of more than one million wartime

disabled Veterans.



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