Known for its collisions and nicknamed “murderball,” wheelchair rugby lets quadriplegic athletes compete in a team sport at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, held July 13 to 18, 2009, in Spokane. Catch the final rugby match at 7 p.m. Friday in the Group Health Exhibition Hall at the Spokane Convention Center.
The events of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games may vary in physicality but not in intensity. This slideshow captures competition in the air rifles and wheelchair rugby from Wednesday, July 15, 2009.
“The hit’s not real unless it bends the steel,” says rugby player Bob Larkin, of Kansas City, Mo.
Brent King, an Army veteran, lost the use of his legs in 1994. The annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games helped the Cheney contractor and mortgage broker reclaim his life, and now he competes to help newly wounded veterans in their recovery. Read Steve Bergum’s story: Veterans use competition to overcome.