Valor Games Far West Athlete Perspectives

“I want to personally thank you for your hard work and putting on a great event. Beyond the participation, the camaraderie built and friendships fostered was a great lift. In talking with all, I think it was the general consensus that the invisible barriers we erect for ourselves were not present during the games. We all felt comfortable and able to be ourselves knowing all understood and had similar challenges. Thank you for that. It was a reminder to myself that I have many brothers and sisters that know the challenges of recovery and I am not alone in this journey.”
— Anonymous

“This was my first time attending the Far West Games and I loved it. The city was beautiful and the hotel was amazing. From the first day, I felt like I was among friends. Even though I knew some of the other Veterans there, I had a great time meeting new friends. I really enjoyed the opening ceremonies on the water front and the weather was gorgeous! The only complaint I had, I wish there would have been time to see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge. I am hoping that next year I get to enjoy the games again and get some time to see some more of the city!”
— Petty Officer Jonathan Moore

“Valor Games Far West was a great experience for both my family and me. I was able to push myself once more and reach my goals. During the Games I came across a soldier I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years. The staff was made up of simply excellent, kind, easy going people that care about Veterans. This was a time to remember!!”
— A. Forward

“My, my, it seems like it was yesterday and I can’t wait for next year. I am bringing a 90-year-old WWll vet along for the archery competition… Next year my wife Linda, will be there to keep me from doing anything I shouldn’t be doing.”
— Anonymous

“I can’t begin to tell you what this entire experience has done for me. First let me say that my first love is cycling. I won the Bronze in the Tandem event. WOW!! Are you kidding me?!! I realize there were only four of us in the field, however, my time was 5 miles in 15 mins. Not too bad for a 71-year old blind guy, well, legally blind. I probably could have contended for 2nd place if I had trained seriously for the event.

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I really enjoyed the Archery competition. It was exciting to hit the bulls eye 3 times in a row with my first 3 practice shots. Never practiced, didn’t even know how to hold the bow. Fellow veterans thought I might be a “ringer”. My actual scores were lackluster at best, however, knowing that I can hit the bulls eye convinced me that I should look into this sport.

I also participated in the Shot put and Discus events. Again, first time for me and with a little practice… who knows. I tried my hand at Goalball and the Biathlon and thoroughly enjoyed all of these events.

What can I say about the staff and volunteers that hasn’t been said already. Two wonderful groups of dedicated individuals keeping things flowing and making The Games a most memorable event. It was absolutely beautiful! The camaraderie, the friendship, the food, the fun, the competition and most importantly, a strong sense of purpose. Thank You for everything you do for me.”
— Tony Martinez RM2