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