Closing ceremonies are tonight in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Omaha. The event brought in more than 500 veterans in wheelchairs from all over the U.S., Puerto Rico and Great Britain.
All have served in the military as far back as World War Two, and up to as recently as Operation Enduring Freedom. Harold Heck coached the archery competition for this week’s activities that focused on children with physical disabilities.
Heck says, "We had the littlest kid out here. He was like five years old. We moved the target in for him and he hit it five out of five times and you can’t remove the smile on his face. It’s like, he won’t be able to sleep at night. It’s like Christmas for him."
As the veterans continue to go for the gold in the day’s final events, Daryl McCauley told what it feels like to get that first medal. McCauley says: "It is a sense of accomplishment. Maybe want to work harder to get better because you know the guys that you want to beat will work harder to get better than you."
More than 4,000 volunteers helped put on the successful games events. Marge Ostgaard is commuting from Lincoln to Omaha to help and says she’s amazed at how competitive the games turned out. Ostgaard says, "They are just giving it their all. They are giving it their all and they are just doing fantastic."
Among the athletes competing this week, there was a 90-year old veteran from World War Two. There were seventeen competitive events including: hand-cycling, basketball, track and field and softball.