CHICAGO -- June 26, 2014 -- Participants at this year's Valor Games Midwest, the fourth annual competition sponsored by World Sport Chicago, will span generations as JROTC students from Chicago Public Schools kick off the event with a flag ceremony at Soldier Field. The drum line from Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy will join the opening ceremony, as well.
The three-day, multi-sport competition -- which will take place from Aug. 20 until Aug. 22 -- is the only one of its kind to bring together wounded, ill or injured active duty service members and veterans to instill positive values through sports.
The Chicago Park District invites all attendees, as well as their friends, family and fans, to visit the complimentary veterans' resource expo on opening day, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. for various veteran support services. The expo will advise veterans in areas such as disability, education, employment, housing and mental health services.
"Injuries can't take the competitive drive out of a soldier. We want these athletes to push themselves to the limit and realize they can accomplish even more than what they did prior to their service," said Scott Myers, executive director at World Sport Chicago. "This year's competition will promote healthy lifestyles, encourage veterans to reengage with their communities and help participants develop customized athletic plans to reach new levels of fitness."
Valor Games Midwest invites participants, spectators and volunteers to event
World Sport Chicago expects to set record attendance at this year's Valor Games with 200 participants. Athletes will travel from all coasts of the United States to compete -- and as far south as Puerto Rico. Registration for the 2014 Valor Games Midwest is open until July 25.
As in previous years, the organization will award individual medals for each event. New this year, at the closing ceremony, World Sport Chicago will present overall awards to branches of the armed forces -- Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy -- based on participant performance.
"Valor Games participants enjoy the friendships they build at games each year -- and we believe military branch awards will make this year even more rewarding and exciting for participants," said Stephanie Miller, Director of School-based and Paralympic programs at World Sport Chicago. "We hope this will lead to deeper camaraderie and draw even more veterans and active duty service members to this year's games."
Opportunity to participate in Veterans Charity Challenge
World Sport Chicago invites those who would like to raise funds for the Valor Games Midwest to participate in this year's Veterans Charity Challenge, a fundraising campaign launched by CraigConnects.org to support non-profit organizations that honor America's heroes.
The non-profit organization with the most donations by 10:59 a.m. on July 3 will be awarded $20,000 from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. World Sport Chicago's goal is to raise more than $50,000 by this date as World Sport Chicago strives to earn the $20,000 first-place donation from CraigConnects.org.
"Our nation's veterans -- especially our wounded warriors -- have given so much to our country. There are more than 5.5 million veterans in the U.S. with a disability -- and an estimated one-third of returning veterans suffer from mental-health conditions," said Miller. "Studies show that disabled veterans who participate in sports report better overall health and satisfaction. Our Valor Games strengthen and empower these individuals with three days of camaraderie and sports competition."
Please visit crowdrise.com/WSC-Valor-Games for more details and to participate. For highlights on the 2013 Valor Games Midwest -- and to see the positive impact it has on veterans -- view the YouTube video at the following link: http://youtu.be/oWgosQBvesI.
Schedule (All times listed in CT.)
Location: Soldier Field (Gate O), 1410 South Museum Campus Dr.
Time: 10 a.m. -- 4 p.m.
Events: Opening ceremony; field events (shot put and discus); biathlon clinic; veterans' resource expo
Location: United Center (South Parking Lot and Concourse), 1901 W. Madison St.
Time: 9 a.m. -- 2 p.m.
Events: Indoor rowing; cycling (upright bicycles, recumbent bikes, hand cycles and tandem bikes); racquetball clinic
Location: Armour Square Park, 3309 S. Shields Ave. (Chicago Park District, between 33rd St. and 34th St.)
Time: 9 a.m. -- 3:30 p.m.
Events: Archery; powerlifting; closing ceremony
The Valor Games Midwest is brought to you by World Sport Chicago in partnership with the Chicago Park District, U.S. Paralympics and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more information or to register as a volunteer or participant, visit www.valorgamesmidwest.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 861-4848.