On to Sioux Falls!
Download the poster for the 2022 National Veterans Golden Age Games.
The NVGAG Rulebook provides the qualifying procedures and rules of competition for the National Veterans Golden Age Games, and are based upon those set forth by the recognized National Governing Body (NGB) for each sport. In the best interest of the athletes, modifications and variances of these rules and regulations are permitted as outlined in the NVGAG Rulebook.
If you are interested in learning more about the events and/or to assist with preparation for the National Veterans Golden Age Games, please follow the links below to view the recognized NGB for each sport.
|AIR PISTOL||USA Shooting|
|AIR RIFLE||USA Shooting|
|BASKETBALL||National Collegiate Athletic Association|
|BOWLING||United States Bowling Congress
American Wheelchair Bowling Association
American Blind Bowlers Association
|CORNHOLE||American Cornhole Association|
|DISC GOLF||Professional Disc Golf Association|
|GOLF||United States Golf Association|
|HORSESHOES||National Horseshoe Pitchers Association|
|NINE BALL||Billiard Congress of America|
|PICKELBALL||USA Pickleball Association|
|POWER WALKING||United States Power Walking Association|
|SHUFFLEBOARD||National Shuffleboard Association|
|SWIMMING||United States Masters Swimming, Inc.|
|TABLE TENNIS||International Table Tennis Federation|
|TRACK & FIELD||USA Track & Field|
We invite you to be a part of this exciting national event by becoming an individual or corporate/organizational sponsor. Committed financial, in-kind and volunteer support through our local and national sponsorships are essential in providing a memorable experience for those Veterans participating in the Games. Information on how to become a sponsor for the 2022 NVGAG may be found in the Sponsorship Packet HERE.
Annual National Sponsor:
Veterans Canteen Service (VCS)
VCS is proud to be a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a self-sustaining entity, VCS provides merchandise and services to Veterans enrolled in VA’s Health Care System, their families, caregivers, VA employees, volunteers and visitors. We are honored to “give back” to the VA through many programs established for the health and well-being of our nation’s heroes. Revenues generated from VCS are used to support a variety of Veteran programs.
Health & Wellness Expo:
The annual National Veterans Golden Age Games Health & Wellness Expo promotes our motto of “Fitness for Life” to approximately 800 senior American Veterans and many VA clinicians who attend the Games. The Expo enhances the athlete experience and provides you with an interactive opportunity to feature a sampling of various demonstrations, displays and products that can help our senior Veterans maintain their active lifestyles.
Volunteers donating their time and talents are essential to the success of the National Veterans Golden Age Games. We typically need the support to fulfill approximately 1,000 various volunteer shifts throughout the week of the Games. Information on volunteer registration for the 2022 NVGAG in Sioux Falls will be provided after the new year. Please continue to check this website for updates. To be added to the mailing list for interested volunteers, please send an email to NVGAGVolunteers@va.gov.
Celebrating its 29th year, the National Veterans Golden Age Games offer sports and recreational competitive events for Veterans 55 years of age and older. It is the largest sports and recreation competition for this age group of military Veterans in the world! The Games continue to serve as a showcase for the rehabilitation value that wellness and fitness provide in the lives of older Americans.
The National Veterans Golden Age Games are an outgrowth of the historic involvement in geriatric programs by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For many years, VA has put major emphasis on health and fitness with the goal of Veterans living healthier, longer lives. Many of the events began as recreational activities at VA hospitals and nursing home care units across the country. Inspired by the health and fitness movement for America’s senior citizens, the Games extend that concept to our nation’s aging Veterans. In 1985, the first National Veterans Golden Age Games took place in Albany, Georgia, with 115 competitors representing VA medical facilities across the United States.
A “fountain of youth” for the rapidly aging Veteran population, the Games provide a multi-event sports and therapeutic recreation program for eligible Veterans receiving care at any VA medical facility. It is the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States, and the only national seniors’ program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. This event truly reflects VA’s mission – to provide quality programs and health care for America’s aging Veteran population. It has become one of the most progressive and adaptive rehabilitative senior sports programs in the United States and the world.
Over the years, competitive events at the National Veterans Golden Age Games have been adapted to meet the specific needs of the participants. The Games have separate age groups and gender divisions. Additionally, because many Veterans also face medical challenges, events were added for those who use wheelchairs and those who have visual impairments. To accommodate the varying degrees of physical conditioning, motor and cognitive skills of the participants, basic competition rules were adapted. The modification of rules and use of adaptive equipment in many events allow non-ambulatory and visually impaired Veterans to participate, in separate divisions where needed and with ambulatory and sighted Veterans when possible. This has made the National Veterans Golden Age Games a truly adaptive therapeutic sports competition that has become a model for other local, state and national senior sports events.
Since 2004, the National Veterans Golden Age Games have been a qualifier for the National Senior Games, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Through this partnership, gold, silver and bronze medalists in certain events have the opportunity to compete further, among America’s elite senior athletes.
This outstanding program has grown from 115 participants in its first year to more than 800 in 2018, making it the largest of VA’s six rehabilitation special events. For the past several years, the aging Vietnam Veteran population has entered the Games in greater numbers each year, making up the largest group of competitors by period of service. By age group, the over-70 age categories are now the largest.
Since the Games began, Veterans have competed in cities across the United States. A listing of event locations and hosting VA medical facilities follows.
National Veterans Golden Age Games: 1985-2020
|Year||Location||Host VA Medical Facilities|
|1985||Albany, Georgia||Atlanta and Dublin VA Medical Centers|
|1987||Ft. Lyon, Colorado||Ft. Lyon VA Medical Center|
|1988||Marion, Indiana||Marion VA Medical Center|
|1990||Sherman, Texas||Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center, Bonham|
|1991||St. Petersburg, Florida||Bay Pines VA Medical Center|
|1992||Ypsilanti, Michigan||Ann Arbor VA Medical Center|
|1993||Johnson City, Tennessee||Mountain Home VA Medical Center|
|1994||Lisle, Illinois||Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Hospital|
|1995||Dallas, Texas||Dallas VA Medical Center|
|1996||Riverside, California||Jerry L. Pettis VA Medical Center, Loma Linda|
|1997||Leavenworth, Kansas||Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center|
|1998||Leesburg, Virginia||VA Capitol Network|
|1999||Geneva, New York||Canandaigua VA Medical Center|
|2000||Topeka, Kansas||VA Heartland Network|
|2001||Duncanville, Texas||VA North Texas Health Care System|
|2002||Los Angeles, California||VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System|
|2003||Orono, Maine||Togus VA Medical Center and Regional Office|
|2004||Fresno, California||VA Central California Health Care System|
|2005||Norman, Oklahoma||Oklahoma City VA Medical Center|
|2006||Hampton, Virginia||Hampton VA Medical Center|
|2007||Houston, Texas||Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center|
|2008||Indianapolis, Indiana||Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center|
|2009||Birmingham, Alabama||Birmingham VA Medical Center|
|2010||Des Moines, Iowa||VA Central Iowa Health Care System|
|2011||Honolulu, Hawaii||VA Pacific Islands Healthcare System and the VA Sierra Pacific Network|
|2012||St. Louis, Missouri||St. Louis VA Medical Center|
|2013||Buffalo, New York||VA Western New York Healthcare System|
|2014||Fayetteville, Arkansas||Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks|
|2015||Omaha, Nebraska||VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System|
|2016||Detroit, Michigan||John D. Dingell VA|
|2017||Biloxi, Mississippi||Gulf Coast Health Care System|
|2018||Albuquerque, New Mexico||New Mexico VA Health Care System|
|2019||Anchorage, Alaska||Alaska VA Health Care System|
Since 1990, one participant has been chosen each year for being the “Most Inspirational” person to compete. That Veteran exhibits the qualities of fitness, sportsmanship and competitive skill. In 1995, the name of this award was changed to the “George Gangi Inspiration Award,” in honor of the late George Gangi, a participant at the Games in Dallas that year. Winners of the award, to date, are as follows:
- 1990 – Ivan Kornutik
- 1991 – Theodore “Ted” Trent
- 1992 – Gus Schaefer
- 1993 – Landon “Chili” Chilcutt
- 1994 – William “Howard” Kennett
- 1995 – William “Sad Sam” Franks
- 1996 – Alice Barszcz
- 1997 – Ed Viola
- 1998 – Donald Mullett
- 1999 – Houston Brumit
- 2000 – Beverly Smith
- 2001 – Clifford Junkins
- 2002 – Adrien Mohammed
- 2003 – Kenneth A. Peterson
- 2004 – Roy Gantt
- 2005 – Chester Golembiewski
- 2006 – Charles Wynder
- 2007 – Frank Renteria
- 2008 – Ira Walton
- 2009 – Robert Blatnik
- 2010 – William Trumbly
- 2011 – Salvatore Badolato
- 2012 – Wayne Field
- 2013 – Robert Sparkes
- 2014 – John Martinez
- 2015 – Edward Gagnon
- 2016 – Charles “Chuck” Ackerman
- 2017 – Ricky Facen
- 2018 – Henry Lee Preston
- 2019 – Richard Olwig
2021 National Veterans Golden Age Games at Home
During Older Americans Month, nearly 500 Veterans 55 years of age and older participated in a series of sport challenges and competitions allowing them to continue in the spirit of the NVGAG and show their athleticism “at Home!” With their energy and passion for “Fitness for Life,” Veterans proved they will keep going the distance to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Veterans competed in nine medaled events, including air rifle, basketball free throw, disc golf, cycling (5k and 20k), powerwalk, bowling, and track and field.
Here’s Air Force and OEF/OIF Veteran Dennis Linn, representing VA Black Hills Health Care System, going all out in the discus competition.