for Resources and Recordings from
the Virtual VGSE WebEx Events that took place throughout the week.
“One of my favorite #VGSEMemories was from 2017 on Day 3 at Lake Crabtree County Park.
The cycling race was running behind schedule and one of the riders got a late staggered start. While he was finishing up the course all the athletes were asked to start getting on the buses to be ready to go to closing ceremony.
In true military fashion the athletes said “We don’t leave anyone behind” and waited cheering until he finished the race. This spoke volumes about the true connection these athletes had to their brothers and sisters during service and now.”
“I think some of my favorite #VGSEMemories are each morning, seeing the athletes faces as they get ready. But what makes it so special is hearing the commotion in our lobby, how this group makes our lobby come alive as stories are being told, seeing familiar faces each and every year and then getting the group loaded on the bus to go compete that day.
What we hear after is silence in our lobby, and unfortunately we will have that silence this upcoming May week, but cannot wait to see those faces again even better come 2021!”
“The dinners where we ALL celebrated individual and team achievements…sometimes a ‘personal best’ is reward enough. I miss my friends and catching up on what’s happened over the past year with them and their families. Prayers to anyone battling and overcoming COVID-19.”
Our first Valor Games SE, there were many who were challenged with the rawness of Traumatic Brain Injury. Some folks were the age of my oldest child. To see what would appear “normal” as they could walk, looked perfectly fine, only to grow to understand, they would get lost going around the block.
This photo is one of these amazing young people. After Valor Games SE 2013, this young man came to our offices weekly to work on a project that allowed us to store our banners with order, keeping them in good shape for the next event. As he worked through weeks of planning, drawing out, making the supply list, using a drill, he got stronger. His personal attendant commented on his growth and confidence.
Often when our minds are challenged to function differently, it is easy to give up, to quit. This young man had spirit to grow and live. May we all find that strength.
“We had an athlete with a left side paralysis at VGSE who was not sure she would be able to kayak.
After a quick adaptation to paddle with one arm,
we had her on the water paddling the 100m race that day.
She was overwhelmed with joy after the race!
Opportunities likes these to see the ‘how it can happen’ versus the doubt of possibility
are my favorite #VGSEMemories“
“In my last month of work in the Athletic Department at UNC, I got a call from Ashley Thomas, Founder and CEO of Bridge II Sports, inquiring about using UNC’s shotput platform for VGSE. This led me to the 2019 VGSE website and I saw the opportunities to volunteer for the games. Needing to take time off before my retirement date worked out perfectly to be able to volunteer every day of the games. What a great experience!!! I got to meet so many amazing athletes, volunteers and the Staff of Bridge II Sports. And now I get to work part time at BIIS!!”
Over the years my aim was to deliver 200+ photos at each venue for the Staff to consider for publishing. This represented about 10% of the photos taken each day. I remember an intended story behind each photo and hopefully a story could be fashioned by any viewer. This year would have been an opportunity for me to reconnect with my friends, be they board members, staff and especially the participating athletes and their families but… I hope everyone is/stays healthy and safe.
Too many memories to recount but here are a few:
- Lunch under a tent at Lake Crabtree (and the rain storm that blew a fuse in the speaker system)
- Archer’s bows with a tether to pull arrow back with their teeth
- Grimaces as athletes pushed themselves in rowing , shot-put and weight lifting
- The good natured taunting on the volleyball court – two cheeks on the floor please
- The blind playing boccia and adapted set-ups for shooting
- Wheelchair demolition derby (basketball?) and Coach K kindly giving medals
- Cyclists who show incredible stamina
- Service dogs who loved their charges and vice versa – very special
- A prosthetic limb here and there
- Custodians bringing me ladders to get top down shots in volleyball and weightlifting
We couldn’t imagine May without Valor Games Southeast.
So even though we couldn’t be together in-person we brought the camaraderie and community to you during the week that ‘would have been’.
From May 18-21 we had some incredible Cisco WebEx events including:
–Opening Ceremony with inspirational speaker, Veteran, and Paralympic Silver Medalist JOHN REGISTER
-A virtual Resource Fair of Webinars on a range of topics specific to Veteran athletes
–Evening Hangouts to catch up with familiar faces and make new connections
–Closing Ceremony to wrap up a fantastic week