Golden Age Veterans from Florida recently returned with gold, silver, and bronze medals from the 25th National Veterans Golden Age Games held in Honolulu, HI May 26 – 31. Seven Veterans who receive their health care at Bay Pines VAHCS competed at the event, with 5 bringing home medals. Our participants:
Norman Christman, 57 years young
Drew Delmore, 63 years young
Ralph Hesting, 66 years young - Silver Medal in air rifle
Diane Hoots, 58 years young - Silver Medal in discus
Donald McCarten, 76 years young - Bronze Medal in bowling for the visually impaired, Silver Medal in horseshoes for the visually impaired
James Skinner, 89 years young - Gold Medal in quarter mile cycling, Gold Medal in half mile cycling, Bronze Medal in discus, Bronze Medal in 50 yard freestyle swim
Donald Snow, 79 years young - Gold Medal in bowling for the visually impaired
The Games, which are co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) and Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) *, and were hosted by the VA Pacific Island Healthcare System based in Honolulu, are the largest sports and recreation event for military Veterans age 55 and older in the world. Veteran athletes from across the United States, Puerto Rico and nearby Islands competed in this year's anniversary event. The Games are one of the most progressive and adaptive rehabilitative senior sports programs in the world, and are designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of disabilities.
Sports and fitness are vital ingredients of VA's National Rehabilitation Special Events. Physical activity and friendly competition engage the mind as well as the body, and recreation therapy fills a special need in the lives of older patients at VA health centers across the country. This event encourages VA patients to make physical activity a central part of their lives and support VA's comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs. It is a national showcase for the preventative and therapeutic value of sports, fitness and recreation for all older Americans.
The Games serve as a qualifying event for competition in the National Senior Games in a number of competitive events.
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