As a proud supporter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Penske Automotive Group was honored to attend this year’s 2016 National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Salt Lake City, Utah and interview some of the participants. Presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the NVWG empowers disabled veterans to shed perceived limitations, and live active and healthy lifestyles through wheelchair sports and recreation. Each year, veterans from all over the world come together to compete for gold, rekindle old friendships and develop new ones.
This year, Penske Automotive Group caught up with first time participant, Zach Nelson. Nelson trained five days a week leading up to the games in order to compete in basketball, air rifle, swimming, and hand cycling. “It is inspiring seeing all of the other veterans competing in the events,” he said. But for Nelson, the games are about much more than the fight for gold. “It isn’t just about competing,” he continued. “It is also about the people you meet and the tips you learn on how to live everyday.”
While wrapping up the interview, as if on cue, Nelson and another veteran he competed with in basketball exchanged contact information and shared training tips. The other veteran had years of experience to share and was ex-cited to be a mentor. Both are planning on coming back for the 2017 National Wheelchair Games.
As Nelson is inspired by the camaraderie of the games, it was an inspiration for us to see him and all of the veterans competing and enjoying being together.