Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye announced that Honolulu has been selected as the site of the 2011 National Veterans Golden Age Games, an official program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Games will begin on May 26, 2011, and culminate in closing ceremonies on May 31. Approximately 1000 veterans, family members and friends from across the United States are expected to participate in the Honolulu Games.
The National Veterans Golden Age Games is one of the most progressive and adaptive rehabilitative senior sports programs in the world. The Games serve as a qualifier for the National Senior Games in a number of competitive events. Military veterans age 55 or older who receive health care at any VA medical facility are eligible to compete in the Games. U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye will serve as honorary co-chairmen of the Games. In 2011, the National Veterans Golden Age Games celebrates its 25th anniversary.
“I can think of no better place to host this special, silver anniversary edition of the National Veterans Golden Age Games than in our Aloha State. The VA encourages all veterans to make physical activity a central part of their lives,” said Senator Akaka, Chairman of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “This annual event is a national showcase for the preventive and therapeutic value of sports, fitness, and recreation.”
“I am pleased that Honolulu will host these games. They are an important part of ensuring that our aging veterans are taking care of their physical health so they can continue to serve as examples of bravery and perseverance for our younger generations,” said Senator Inouye, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations. “As I recovered from my war wounds at the VA hospital in Battle Creek Michigan, physical activity and athletic competition was vital to restoring my sense of self and preparing me for life after the Army.”
“VA is pleased to be able to bring the Golden Age Games to Hawaii,” said Tammy Duckworth, VA Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. “This rehabilitative athletic event could not have happened without the leadership from our Honolulu VA Medical center, the State of Hawaii and Senators Inouye and Akaka as well as the Hawaii National Guard. I personally look forward to showing our nation’s heroes the Aloha State.”
Competitive events include swimming, cycling, golf, shot-put, discus, 10-meter air rifle, billiards, horseshoes, table tennis, and bowling. New to the Honolulu Games will be an outrigger canoe exhibition event. Each event has seven age categories for participation. Veterans with visual impairment and those who use wheelchairs may compete in the Visually Impaired or Wheelchair divisions. Event venues include the University of Hawaii, Waikiki Beach, the Hawaii Convention Center, and Hickam Air Force Base.
Registration for the games will soon open. Forms and more information will be available on the Department of Veterans Affairs website: http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/gag/index.asp.