CLEVELAND - Ohio is hosting the 37th Annual National Veteran Wheelchair Games. The competition starts Monday in Cincinnati and runs through the week.
The goal is to win, but also to inspire disabled veterans to live more active and healthy lives through adaptive recreation.
About 60 veterans are representing Team Ohio and will be competing in 18 events.
More than half a dozen veterans are from the Cleveland-area. They represent different branches of the military and are different ages, but bring the same heart to the competition.
“All the camaraderie, it’s just excellent,” said David North, a Marine Corps veteran.
We caught up with some of the Cleveland-area veterans on the team as they trained at the Spire Institute in Geneva.
"You need to get involved,” said Clarence Belle, a U.S. Army veteran. “You sit around, you're gonna pass away! You move around, you know you're movin’.”
They say along with the camaraderie, pushing yourself to learn new things and stay strong, both mentally and physically, is a benefit they get from participating.
"It's just awesome to watch them, and it's very inspiring to see them overcome barriers and work so hard to do better the next year or learn a new event,” said Patty Whitecotton, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist.
She calls working with the veterans a “dream job” and says we can all learn a lot from their perseverance.
The games are presented by the VA and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
You can track the results and learn more by clicking here.