This Monday BlazeSports joins the rest of the nation in honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Originally called “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day was begun shortly after the American Civil War and was extended at the end of World War I to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.
This weekend, millions of Americans will mark Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries, decorating gravesites with flowers and flags, attending local parades, and pausing at 3 p.m. for a national moment of remembrance. Many more will honor those who have died while serving their country by lowering flags to half staff until noon – and then raising them to full staff for the remainder of the day as a way of indicating that the lives lost will not be in vain.
As you take a moment this Memorial Day to remember friends and family members who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, we also encourage you to give thanks to the many veterans and active duty military who have been wounded in combat. If you are part of the military and are looking for disability sport opportunities, please check out our military programs page at: http://www.blazesports.org/programs/military-programs
USA Paralympic Soccer 2012 Team
As we approach the London Paralympic Games, BlazeSports is proud to host guest contributions from USA Paralympic athletes on the BlazeSports Blog. These featured blogs will be written by athletes training for the Games. We hope our readers enjoy this behind the scenes look at what it takes to get ready for international competition! Our first installment recognizes the “100 Days Out” call and is contributed by Chris Ahrens and Josh McKinney.
Hi, this is Chris Ahrens and Josh Mckinney of the Paralympic Soccer Team Checking in. We are currently in Manchester, England competing at the BT Paralympic World Cup. Today we took part in a photo shoot marking 100 days until the start of the Paralympic Games. How cool is is that the games are only 100 days away? We have been training years for this! We are practicing hard as a team and training lots on our own to get better. Chris is excited because this will be his first Paralympic Games, whereas Josh is an old man and this will be his 3rd Paralympic Games. Check back soon to hear more about our journey to the games!
About the authors: Josh McKinney and Chris Ahrens: Josh McKinney recently earned his 100th career international cap when the team played Russia at Yevpatoriya, Ukraine. The London Games will mark McKinney’s third Paralympics, following his 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens appearances. Chris Ahrens is an Adapted P.E. Teacher and U.S. Paralympic Soccer Player training for London 2012. Follow him on twitter @chrisahrens.
Mark your calendars! The London Paralympic Games are just 100 days away! With opening ceremonies on August 29, 2012, the London Paralympic Games will see a record breaking 4,200 athletes from 165 countries competing in what will be the largest Paralympic Games to date.
When the Games kicks off in Great Britain this year it will mark a return home for the Paralympics. The precursor to the Paralympics was held in Stoke Mandeville, England in 1948 with injured war veterans. Twelve years later, athletes from 23 nations held the first Paralympics in Rome.
London Paralympic Games will also see an unprecedented number of tickets sold ahead of a Games, and a record-breaking collection of Rights Holding Broadcasters will screen the Paralympic Games across the globe this summer. It is estimated a cumulated audience of around 4 billion people will watch the Games between 29 August and 9 September.
As we approach the Games this summer, BlazeSports will be sharing athlete stories, competitor profiles, news from the ground, and information on local events. Stay tuned for more news on the Paralympics in the days and weeks to come!
If you are one of the 39% of Americans who own a dog or the 33% who own a cat (or like one member of BlazeSports staff, owns two rabbits!), you will likely agree that your furry friend is more than just a pet. Whether you say this because you own a service animal (which in fact is a specially trained working animal and not a pet at all), or simply because your non-human additions to the house seem to have earned honored family member status – we at BlazeSports understand what your animals mean to you. As we mark National Pet Month, BlazeSports celebrates all that our four legged friends do on our behalf. So whether your animal is a working dog or other service animal, or simply a loving companion, an exercise pal, and a playmate for your children, we invite you to join us in recognizing the contributions that animals make to our lives. BlazeSports also encourages the public to use this month to learn more about Service Animals (both dogs and miniature horses) and the new ADA regulations (released in 2011) governing the use of Service Animals by visiting a fact sheet on the topic at: http://www.blazesports.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Service-Animals-Fact-Sheet1.pdf
National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups in an effort to promote women’s health. The theme for 2012 is “It’s Your Time”. National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. It also encourages women to take steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risks of certain diseases. Click here to read more.
In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, and National Women’s Health Week, BlazeSports encourages all women to make themselves and their own health a priority. If you are one of the 27 million women in the United States with a disability (CDC), or the mother of an individual with a disability, it is especially important that you take a few moments to nurture your own mind, body and soul. Looking for suggestions on how to capitalize on “your time,” check out the many resources on the web, such as:
From all of us at BlazeSports, we would like to wish all the mothers a very happy Mother’s Day!
USA Paralympic Soccer 2012 Team
The draw for the London 2012 Paralympic Games 7-a-side Football (Soccer) Competition took place on May 3rd at 8 pm during a pre-paralympic Games tournament in the Yevpretoria city in the Ukraine. The draw was made by Tom Langen who is the CPISRA Football Committee Chairman and representatives from the Ukrainian NPC along with players and officials from
the participating countries. Click Here For The Competition Schedule.
Our hats off to US Paralympics and the Department of Veteran Affairs for hosting an informative Paralympic Leadership Conference this year. BlazeSports is proud to play a role in the growth and development of the Paralympic movement and the next generation of leaders in the United States. Harry Chapin sang a song “All My Life’s a Circle” and the Paralympic movement is experiencing just that. As we prepare to compete in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, the world will return to the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.
BlazeSports would like to congratulate the six winners of the Paralympic Leadership awards for their ongoing commitment to the development and promotion of Paralympic sports in the United States. (http://www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Features/2012/April/30/US-Olympic-Committee-honors-Paralympic-leaders-with-2012-Amazing-Awards.aspx). A special note of congratulations goes out to our friends at Bridge II Sports for winning the Amazing Sports Club Award.
BlazeSports would also like to extend our appreciation to our new friends at BP Oil and congratulate them on an exciting new Olympic and Paralympic initiative: http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7059696
For those unable to attend, US Paralympics will be posting all the presentations, including the one offered by BlazeSports staff on Long Term Athlete Development, on their website in the next week or so. http://www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics.aspx