2012 Olympic Opportunity Fund recipients announced

By U.S. Paralympics | Oct. 18, 2012, 10:30 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Today the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Veterans Affairs announced that more than $2M in grant funding has been awarded to a total of 97 organizations in support of Paralympic sport and physical activity programs for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

The Olympic Opportunity Fund is provided through a partnership between the USOC and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 were provided to USOC partner organizations to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically and visually impaired veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympic sport programs.

In its third year, the Olympic Opportunity Fund has provided more than $4M to 223 USOC partner and community programs resulting in thousands of veterans with physical and visual impairments who are participating in sport programs and opportunities at the regional and national levels.

"This funding is helping to meet the need for Paralympic and adaptive sport programming for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces in communities across the country," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, there were 20 veterans and service members on the U.S. team who accounted for a total of 13 U.S. medals. We hope to build on that success at the elite level as well as continue to grow the number of veterans participating in Paralympic and adaptive sport at the grassroots level moving forward."

"Veterans Affairs is pleased to be partnering again with the USOC to provide funding for these programs," said Chris Nowak, national director, VA Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events. "This support is crucial to the thousands of veteran athletes who are participating in sport programs and improving their lives along the way."

The 2012 Olympic Opportunity Fund grant recipients are as follows:

Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, Ala.

Mesa Association of Sports for the Disabled, Mesa, Ariz.

Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), Berkeley, Calif.
Break the Barriers, Fresno, Calif.
Challenged Athletes Foundation, San Diego, Calif.
Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Disabled Sports USA Far West, Citrus Heights, Calif.
Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Oceanside, Calif.
Military Racquetball Federation, Lake Forest, Calif.
Riekes Center for Human Enhancement, Menlo Park, Calif.
San Diego District Tennis Association, San Diego, Calif.
San Diego Rowing Club, San Diego, Calif.
Shared Adventures, Santa Cruz, Calif.
SJSU Research Foundation Timpany Center, San Jose, Calif.
United States Adaptive Recreation Center (USARC), Big Bear Lake, Calif.

Adaptive Athletic Specialists, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Breckenridge, Colo.
Challenge Aspen, Snowmass Village, Colo.
City of Boulder Parks and Recreation EXPAND, Boulder, Colo.City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Colorado Discover Ability, Grand Junction, Colo.
Ignite Adaptive Sports, Boulder, Colo.
National Sports Center for the Disabled, Denver, Colo.
National Wheelchair Basketball Association, Colorado Springs, Colo.
USA Volleyball, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Gaylord Hospital, Wallingford, Ct.

Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Miami, Fla.
Team Paradise Sailing, Inc., Miami, Fla.
Veterans Ocean Adventures, Cutler Bay, Fla.

BlazeSports America, Decatur, Ga.
Champions Made from Adversity, Evans, Ga.

AccesSurf Hawaii Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii

AquAbility, Ketchum, Idaho
Inland Northwest Disabled Veterans Sports Association Inc., Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Sun Valley Adaptive Sports Program, Inc., Ketchum, Idaho
Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Boise, Idaho
Wood River Ability Program (WRAP), Sun Valley, Idaho

Adaptive Adventures, Wilmette, Ill.
Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA), Lake Forest, Ill.
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Sports Program, Chicago, Ill.

Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities, Fort Wayne, Ind.

SportAbility of Iowa, Solon, Iowa

Pineland Farms, Inc., New Gloucester, Maine

St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks, Leonardtown, Md.
Team River Runner, Rockville, Md.

Community Rowing, Inc., Brighton, Mass.
Holyoke Rows, Inc., Holyoke, Mass.
Piers Park Sailing Center, Inc., Boston, Mass.

Courage Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
Creating Ability Fund of the Winona Community Foundation, Chatfield, Minn.

Metro Area Community Empowerment (MACE), Jackson, Miss.)

Disabled Athlete Sports Association, St. Peters, Mo.

Great Plains Chapter Paralyzed Veterans of American, Inc., Omaha, Neb.

AbilityPLUS, Manchester, N.H.
New England Disabled Sports, Lincoln, N.H.

Global Opportunities Unlimited, Albuquerque, N.M.

Achilles International, New York, N.Y.
Asphalt Green, New York, N.Y.
STRIDE Adaptive Sports, Inc., Rensselaer, N.Y.
Tri EveryDay, New York, N.Y.

City of Reno, Reno, Nevada
NORTH CAROLINABridge II Sports, Durham, N.C.
Warrior Ride, Oak Island, N.C.

Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio, Wooster, Ohio
Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus Recreation and Parks Community Recreation Council - Friends of Therapeutic Recreation Chapter, Columbus, Ohio
SPIRE Institute, Geneva, Ohio

Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, Tulsa, Okla.
University of Central Oklahoma Sports & Recreation, Edmond, Okla.

Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, Mercersburg, Pa.
Penn State Ability Athletics, University Park, Pa.

Sports Mobility Network, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Chattanooga Parks & Recreation, Therapeutic Recreation Services - Chattanooga Paralympic Sport, Chattanooga, Tenn.

City of Harker Heights, Harker Heights, Texas
Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Houston, Texas
Operation Comfort, San Antonio, Texas
Red River Racing Team, San Marcos, Texas
RISE Adventures, Inc., Irving, Texas
San Antonio Fencing Center, San Antonio, Texas
Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association, Arlington, Texas
Texas Rowing Foundation, Austin, Texas
Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas
University of Texas Arlington Movin' Mavs Adapted Sports, Arlington, Texas
Wreckers Inc., DBA ParaSports, Round Rock, Texas

The Rehabilitation Center at University of Utah Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah

ACA | Canoe - Kayak - SUP - Raft - Rescue, Fredericksburg, Va.
Arlington - Fairfax Chapter IWLA, Centerville, Va.
Sportable Richmond Adaptive Sports and Recreation, Inc., Richmond, Va.
Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, Alexandria, Va.

Adaptive Action Sports, Inc. - Lummi Island, Wash.
Gig Harbor Canoe Kayak Racing Team, Gig Harbor, Wash.
Greater Metro Parks Foundation, Tacoma, Wash.
Outdoors for All Foundation, Seattle, Wash.

Challenged Athletes of West Virginia, Snowshoe, W.Va.

United States Curling Association, Inc., Stevens Point, Wis.

Casper Mountain Biathlon Club - Casper, Wyo.

Capital Adaptive Rowing Program - Washington, D.C.

For more information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-866-2039 or beth.bourgeois@usoc.org.