Herschel Walker donates Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off winnings to U.S. Paralympics

By Beth Bourgeois | May 15, 2014, 10:30 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Today, U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced that it was the recipient of a generous donation from famed NFL player turned television cooking celebrity Herschel Walker. Walker recently won season three of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off,” netting $55k for the charity of his choice.

Walker designated the funding in the name of Patriot Support Programs of Universal Health Services, Inc. toward the 2014 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, an annual competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans hosted by the USOC with support from the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as sponsors AT&T, BP, Semper Fi Fund, The Fisher House Foundation, The Daniels Fund and the United Service Organizations. The competition will take place Sept. 28-Oct. 4, utilizing venues at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

After having attended the 2013 Warrior Games, Walker said he knew he wanted potential earnings from the competition to go to service members and veterans.

“Observing the 2013 Warrior Games was a humbling experience,” said Walker. “These men and women who gave so much for the freedom of this country are the true athletes. I’ve visited more than 87 military installations with the Patriot Support Programs of UHS in support of America’s finest who stepped up to the challenge for this country and continue to challenge themselves on a daily basis. There is no better way to say thank you than to support the Warrior Games.”  

The competition for wounded, injured and ill service members and veterans was created in 2010 by the USOC, in partnership with the Department of Defense and the USO, to create competitive sports opportunities for injured service members and to enhance awareness about the impact and need to create sustainable physical activity programs for thousands of injured members of the Armed Forces at the community level.

“It is due to generous donations like Herschel Walker’s that the USOC has been able to expand the availability of Paralympic sports programming for people with physical disabilities with an emphasis on our nation’s heroes from the Armed Services,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “To-date, the USOC and our partners have provided thousands of service members and veterans with physical disabilities access to grassroots sports programs as well as elite programs, including 18 members of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team who competed in Sochi, Russia. As a non-profit organization, the USOC could not complete its mission without the generous support of individuals like Herschel Walker.”

During the 2014 Warrior Games, 200 service members and veterans are expected to compete in seven sports (archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track & field and wheelchair basketball) over six days in 2014. Five teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Command will select their own rosters; each team will be comprised of 40 athletes. 

A former NFL player, Walker’s claim to fame came while playing for The University of Georgia football team, for which he won the Heisman Trophy in 1982. During his 15-year professional career, he won numerous All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. He is the founder/CEO of H. Walker Enterprises, LLC (Renaissance Man Food Services).