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 www.wintersportsclinic.org.