Adaptive athletes from around the country competed in Thornton for a mid-July week in a range of sports from blind soccer and wheelchair tennis to swimming, track and field and target shooting.
"As an organization, we do everything, from the crash and bang of wheelchair football all the way to something simple and quiet like bocce," Move United Executive Director Glenn Merry said.
In all, 320 athletes ages 6 to 22 came to Move United Junior Nationals — a kind of summer Olympics for young adaptive sport athletes. This is the second year Thornton has hosted the group's Junior Nationals.
"But we have adult divisions, too, and we're looking at including them next year," Merry said.
After two days of registration and preparation, the games began July 17 with the para-triathlon competition. Competitions continued for the week, with an outdoor Archery competition July 17 on the Trailwinds athletic fields, swim competitions at the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center and air rifle contest in Trailwinds' gymnasium July 18 and 19 and wheelchair tennis and track and field events July 20 and 21.
The VMAC hosted the swimming events, including the swimming portion of the para-triathlon. Trailwinds Recreation Center and its surrounding fields hosted the biking and running portions of the para-triathlon as well as the archery and air rifle competition. Adams 12 played its part, too, hosting the wheelchair tennis competition July 20 and 21. The district's North Stadium hosted the track and field competition July 21 and 22.
Founded in 1956, Move United provides year-round sports and recreation opportunities to athletes with a wide range of disabilities in more than 70 different adaptive sports. The Rockville, Maryland-based group is affiliated with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees as well as more than 200 community organizations across the U.S.
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