Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 1 - Archery and Opening Ceremony

Day one of competition was a huge success and the athletes at the archery match were great! Today we had almost 30 athletes from 11 different teams competing in 5 age divisions. Everyone was really excited to be out in the heat doing what they do best.

Emily Clarke and Carlos Quintanilla from the Paralymipc Sports Club of Tampa came all the way from Florida to compete in the NJDC and they were excited to be here in Arizona doing what they love."I like Arizona its fun and hot!" said Carlos. He has been competing for two years now and today shot the highest score for his team with 631, "I tried my best and that's all that matters." Carlos and Emily will be competing in other events thoughout the week including swimming, field and tables tennis. "I like just having fun when I compete" said Emily who has been participating in disabled sport competitions since she was six. Congratulations, everyone did an amazing job.

Want to see the results for archery click here:

Starting everything off at the Opening Ceremonies was Games Director Lane Gram, who welcomed the athletes to Arizona and gave a brief history about the host organization Arizona Disabled Sports.

The Mesa Police Department presented colors during the singing of the national anthem. After a “Welcome to Mesa” by Barbara Chambers, Chair of the Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports USA, the audience cheered on the teams as they made their way around the MCC Track.  

When everyone was finally in place Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh stood up and talked to athletes. He said he was “excited to welcome everyone to Mesa and wished everyone good luck”.

At the end Mike Armstrong, owner of Blind Tiger Martial Arts, came forwarded and talked about his experience of being blind and how it didn’t hold him back. He encouraged the athletes and said how amazing and strong each one of them is. Mike was a huge inspiration everyone at the stadium showing that anyone can challenge their ability and achieve goals they previously thought impossible.

It’s the end of Day 2 and with six more to go get a good night sleep and Good Luck!

For more pictures of the events check out our Facebook album!

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