More than 300 disabled Veterans are hitting the slopes this week at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The clinic, sponsored by the VA and DAV (Disabled American Veterans), is the largest adaptive event of its kind in the world and will take place from March 29 through April 3.

“This clinic is an excellent example of how VA uses a holistic healthcare model to provide every Veteran with physical and mental treatment options that work for them,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald, who will attend events on April 2. “Through sports and other forms of recreation therapy, we can greatly improve the quality of life for many of our nation’s heroes.”

The clinic teaches Veterans with disabilities about adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing. It also introduces them to a number of other adaptive recreational activities and sports. Now in its 29th 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.

“This event teaches some of our most profoundly wounded veterans to challenge themselves to overcome the obstacles they face as a result of their service to our nation,” said DAV National Commander Ron Hope, who twice participated in the event after losing his arm in the Vietnam War. “Veteran participants are able to rediscover abilities and opportunities that they may have thought were taken from them when they were hurt.”

During the six-day event, Veterans also learn rock climbing, scuba diving, snowmobiling, curling, sled hockey and self-defense. For more information, visit

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Published on Mar. 27, 2015

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  1. Michele Smith March 30, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    my name is Michelle Smith I am a United States Air Force war veteran and I have become disabled I like to learn more information about the programs out there to help me get back into the things I used to like to do I served 92 to 95 I’m a Saudi Arabia Desert Shield Desert Storm veteran

  2. Toni Chiara March 30, 2015 at 9:17 am

    why is it that the adaptive sports / wheelchair games / golden games seem to be only for those with spinal cord injury or amputations. What about the Veterans who have sustained a CVA, have a chronic progressive illness such as Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson Disease, Progressive spinal atrophy, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, etc. Adaptive sport events should be inclusive – even if it means doing a special adaptive event for those with progressive disease

    • Jordan Schupbach March 30, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Toni! None of our events are exclusively for spinal cord injuries or amputations. This particular event, the Winter Sports Clinic, is for male and female military service veterans with qualifying disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputation, visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, certain neurological problems, and many other disabilities. Check with the rec therapy department at your local VAMC or visit to find out more about all of our events and eligibility information. Hope to see you out there!

  3. Randy Sirbaugh March 28, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I went there annually from 1997-2011. It’s one of the most incredible things you’ll ever go through!!!!!! You’ll find stuff inside you never knew you had- helps you push your own limits and find out that you really don’t have any (limits that is). The people that are there are incredible, helpful, knowledgeable and just all around fantastic!!!!!! You won’t be sorry that you attended- I’m just disappointed I never won the Bonzai Skier of the year award- God knows I tried !!!!!!!

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