Rockville, MD-May 25, 2011- Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), one of the largest sporting organizations for people with a physical disability, and the Heisman Trophy Trust, announced they will sponsor Team Naval Medical Center San Diego’sparticipation in the 2011 Ski to Sea Race, a 100-mile long, multi-sport competition that stretches from Mount Baker to Bellingham Bay, Washington on May 29.
Injured service members who have fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and are currently rehabilitating at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, Calif., will participate in this year’s annual race. The team will consist of six disabled athletes and two hospital therapists, competing in seven race legs that include snowboarding, cross country skiing, road bicycling, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, and running.
“Disabled Sports USA is pleased and honored to partner with Heisman Trophy Trust to provide an opportunity for our severely injured service members to rebuild their lives through extreme sports activities,” said Kirk Bauer, JD, executive director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran. “This is one of many examples of how far our wounded warriors have come in achieving independence through sports after their injuries.”
Over 400 teams from around the world compete in this yearly event, but only a few teams include athletes with disabilities. In previous years, the team has finished as high as 256th of over 400 non-disabled teams. The annual Ski to Sea Race is traced back to the Mt. Baker Marathon held from 1911 to 1913. The marathon pitted man and machine against rugged terrain, taking contestants over treacherous roads and trails to the top of the mountain and back.
“These individuals have given so much, for so many. They are, and will always be, a national symbol of perseverance, dedication and heroism. It is with great pride that the Heisman Trophy Trust supports their efforts and their desire to compete”, said William Dockery, President of the Heisman Trophy Trust.
Disabled Sports USA’s Warfighter Sports program is a calendar of endurance events that tests and reestablishes the skills of the severely injured service members. This is the third consecutive year DSUSA will sponsor a wounded military team for Ski to Sea as part of its Warfighter Sports Series.
About Disabled Sports USA
A member of the United States Olympic Committee, Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization founded in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in sports. A national multi-sport, multi-disability organization serving more than 60,000 youth and adults annually, DSUSA offers programs in more than 30 different sports through its nationwide network of more than 100 community-based chapters operating in 37 states. The vision of Disabled Sports USA is that everyone, regardless of ability, has an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in their communities. For schedules and additional information, visit www.dsusa.org.
About Warfighter Sports
After seven years of providing sports rehabilitation programs for those severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, Disabled Sports USA is offering a schedule of challenge events that help military service members with permanent disabilities, such as amputated limbs, spinal cord injury, visual impairment or traumatic brain injury, train for and challenge themselves in extreme and endurance sports.
The events selected for the challenge series offer a high demonstration of skill, courage and tenacity beyond the bounds of normal endurance. DSUSA also supports the service members in their training and give physical therapists the opportunity to include a rigorous training schedule into their everyday rehabilitation. Visit Warfighters Sports.
About Heisman Trophy Trust
The Heisman Trophy Trust annually recognizes the most outstanding college football player in the United States. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country.