Veterans compete in National Veterans Golden Age Games at Home edition

Opening ceremonies online June 22


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Nearly 250 Veterans from across the country are participating in VA’s National Veterans Golden Age Games (NVGAG) at HOME. The competition includes a virtual fitness challenge which runs through June 26, and a weeklong series of sporting events June 23-27. The at home event was organized after the face-to-face Games were cancelled because of concerns surrounding COVID-19.

man on bicycle

Army Veteran Lenny McNair cycling at the 2019 National Veterans Golden Age Games. McNair is competing in the at home edition of the Games this year.

“When I saw they were doing these Games (at home), I said ‘That’s good, that’s inspiring,’” said Army and Vietnam Veteran Lenny McNair.

McNair, 72, bikes 50-60 miles five days a week near his home in Maryland, and adds situps and weight training three or four times per week. He plans to compete in the 20k cycling event set for June 26.

“It’s an opportunity to get out there and do something, and an opportunity to stay healthy,” he said.

The public is invited to watch the opening ceremonies online on June 22 at 6 p.m. ET at www.facebook.com/sports4vets. A virtual awards ceremony will be hosted on the Sports4vets Facebook page on June 29 at 6 p.m. ET.

“We’re excited to host this competition and to give our Veterans an opportunity to show their athletic spirit from home,” said Carla Ruff, director of VA’s National Veterans Golden Age Games. “We hope this inspires our athletes to stay active and honor the Games’ ‘Fitness for Life’ motto.”

Veterans competing in the fitness challenge complete various events to move along a virtual trek from Washington, D.C., to Madison, Wisconsin, site of this year’s now cancelled Games.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to keep moving. The athletes we work with believe in the ‘Fitness for Life’ model and the National Veterans Golden Age Games At Home is a reflection of that,” said Darren Yowell, a team coach and recreation specialist from Martinsburg VA Medical Center.

The at home sporting events take place June 23-27 and include: wastebasket basketball, 20K cycling, field events (discus, shotput and javelin), powerwalk and NVGAG trivia.

More information

For more information about VA’s national rehabilitation events, visit www.blogs.va.gov/nvspse/.

Author

Mike Molina

Mike Molina is a public affairs specialist with VA’s Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events. He has been a federal public affairs practitioner for more than 20 years, including serving as public affairs officer at the Jesse Brown VA in Chicago and the Montana VA Health Care System in Helena, Montana. Mike is a Marine Corps Veteran and was an amateur boxer on the All-Marine Boxing Team while stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.