Rockville, MD—May 27, 2010— Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), one of the largest sporting organizations for people with a physical disability, today announced it has partnered with the Challenged Athletes Foundation to sponsor team Missing Parts in Action’s participation in the 2010 Ski to Sea Race on May 30. This year, Missing Parts in Action will be the only team with disabled athletes participating in the race.
“Disabled Sports USA is pleased and honored to partner with Challenged Athletes Foundation to provide venues where our severely injured service members can achieve the highest level of athleticism,” said Kirk Bauer, JD, executive director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran. “This partnership will open up new opportunities for our severely injured service members, to rebuild their lives through extreme sports.”
Severely injured service members who have fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will participate in the annual Ski to Sea Race, a 94 mile long, multi-sport competition that stretches from Mount Baker to Bellingham Bay, Washington. The Missing Parts in Action team will participate as part of the Disabled Sports USA’s “Challenge Sports Series” of extreme athletic events to test and reestablish the skills of the severely injured service members. The team will consist of eight disabled and non disabled athletes competing in seven race legs that include cross country skiing, downhill skiing/snowboarding, running, road bicycling, canoeing, mountain biking, and kayaking. The Challenged Athletes Foundation has joined as a partner in sponsoring the team in this and other extreme sports events in 2010, including a challenge to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Competitors on the Missing Parts in Action team include the following: Snowboard- National Guard SSG Mike Kacer, Above Elbow Amputee; Nordic ski- LTC Kerrie Golden – Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) staff; Canoe 1- Army 1st Lt. Joe Guyton, Below Knee Amputee; Running- Kara Guyton (wife of Joe Guyton); Hand cycle- Special Ops. SSG Freddie Delasantos, Above Knee Amputee; Canoe 2- Zach Harvey, WRAMC prosthetist; Mountain Bike- Army SSG Kenny Butler, Above Elbow Amputee; Kayak- Airforce SSGT (Ret.) Randy Builder, visually impaired, alongside his guide, Randy Resse.
Over four hundred teams from around the world compete in this yearly event, but only a few teams include athletes with disabilities. Last year, Missing Parts in Action finished 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.
“Challenged Athletes Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities who desire to live active, competitive lifestyles by giving them every opportunity to compete in the sports they love” said Nico Marcolongo, CAF Operation Rebound Program Manager. “We see our partnership with Disabled Sports USA in the “Challenge Sports Series” as enabling our wounded warriors to live out their love of sport and competition.”
About Disabled Sports USA
Founded in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans, Disabled Sports USA provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rebuild their lives through sports, recreation and educational programs. DSUSA is a national multi-sport, multi-disability organization serving more than 60,000 youth and adults annually. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, DSUSA offers programs through its nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters operating in 38 states. For schedules and additional information, click here or call (301) 217-9840.
About Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is a world leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved – and stay involved – in sports. CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $25 million has been raised and almost 4,500 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love. To learn more, click here or call 858-866-0959.