The 2020 Paralympic Summer Games kick off with opening ceremonies on Aug. 24 in Tokyo, Japan. Competition begins Aug. 25 and concludes Sept. 5. Nearly 4,400 athletes, representing 100 countries will compete in the Paralympics.

There are 18 Veterans and three active duty service members among the 240 athletes representing Team USA at the Games. This includes 14 Army Veterans, four Navy Veterans, two Marine Veterans, and one Air Force Veteran. VA supports many of them through the Veterans Monthly Assistance Allowance, which provides a monthly stipend for disabled Veterans training in Paralympic sports. Many of these Veterans have participated in VA’s national rehabilitation events managed by the Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events.

Best of luck to all of Team USA and thank you to our Veterans for their continued service. NBCUniversal will provide 1,200 hours of coverage of the 2020 Paralympic Summer Games beginning August 24. Check here for a listing of TV and streaming options and the complete schedule of coverage.

Navy Veteran Will Groulx

man in wheelchair on rugby court

Retired U.S. Sailor Will Groulx rolls into position to defend against the Great Britain team during a match at the Paralympic Games in London Sept. 5, 2012. Groulx is set to compete in his fifth Paralympics this year in Tokyo, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Sean M. Worrell/Released)

Five-time Paralympian and Navy Veteran Will Groulx got his first taste of adaptive sports at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Groulx was rehabilitating at the Seattle VA Medical Center after a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed, when his team of therapists introduced him to adaptive sports and quad rugby. In 2001, Groulx competed in his first National Veterans Wheelchair Games in New York. The Games are presented each year by VA and Paralyzed Veterans of America and recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Today, Groulx is one of the most accomplished Veterans in Paralympic history, having earned six medals in two sports (rugby and cycling), including two gold, two silver and two bronze.

“When I was in the Navy, my goal was to travel around the world to serve my country and experience a lot of things,” Groulx said. “Now, adaptive sports has helped me recover from my injury and allowed me to continue seeing the world.”

Read more…PVA | Paralyzed Veterans | Hero Stories | Will Groulx

Lia Coryell

Army Veteran Lisa “Lia” Coryell

Two-time Paralympian and Army Veteran Lisa “Lia” Coryell got her start in archery at VA’s National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic. She attended the 2013 and 2014 clinics and said it was a turning point for her. 

“The Summer Sports Clinic was life changing for me,” Coryell said. “For the first time, from the day I got off that bus, I was an athlete. They never called us clients, or participants or campers. We were athletes.”

Read more…Rio Paralympian got her start at VA’s Summer Sports Clinic | VAntage Point

Complete list of Veterans by sport competing at the Games:

Andre Shelby, Navy – archery

Tom Davis, Army – cycling

Freddie De los Santos, Army – cycling

Shawn Morelli, Army – cycling

Eric Ryan Pinney, Air Force – cycling

Monica Sereda, Army – cycling

Kelly Elmlinger, Army – paratriathlon

Eric Mcelvenny, Marine Corps – paratriathlon

Bradley Snyder, Navy – paratriathlon

Melissa Stockwell, Army – paratriathlon

Russell Gernaat, Navy – rowing

John Joss III, Army active duty – shooting

Kevin Nguyen, Army active duty – shooting

Elizabeth Marks, Army active duty – swimming

Michael Gallardo, Army – track and field

Luis Puertas, Army – track and field

Scot Severn, Army – track and field

Terry Hayes, Army – wheelchair fencing

Raymond Hennagir, Marine Corps – wheelchair rugby

By Mike Molina

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Published on Aug. 22, 2021

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One Comment

  1. Brad Z August 26, 2021 at 9:54 am

    These athletes are amazing! Go USA Veterans!

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