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Winfield man competes in Veterans Wheelchair Games

Aug. 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

RICHMOND, Va. -- Wheelchair Athlete George Jackson, 69, an Army Veteran from Winfield, W.Va., brought home a silver medal from the 32nd National Veterans Wheelchair Games held in Richmond, Va., June 25-30.

Jackson competed in the air guns and 10K hand cycling competitions. He captured the silver in hand cycling.

It was the first time for Jackson at the weeklong games, which showcased athletic events including air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, track & field, hand cycling, motorized rally, nine-ball, quad rugby, power soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, trapshooting, weightlifting and slalom.

The annual sports rehabilitation program is open to U.S. military veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations or certain neurological problems, and who receive care at VA medical facilities or military treatment centers, according to a press release from the Huntington VA Medical Center.

Jackson, a combat-wounded veteran of Vietnam and a patient at the Huntington VA Medical Center, spoke highly of his experience at the Games.

"I'm new at hand cycling, but I really enjoyed it," he said in a press release. "Next year I want to go back and compete in some of the other events, like pool and the field games."

In addition to the friendly competition, the athletes shared their stories and camaraderie throughout the Games, talking about the sporting opportunities available to disabled veterans and the need for them to stay active.

"There were 800 disabled veterans participating there," Jackson said in the release. "That was amazing to me."

For more information about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, go to http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/wcg.

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