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VA Boston Healthcare System

 

The Spirit of the Games

Veterans in wheelchairs play basketball

SCI patients enjoy competitive sports all year.

Monday, December 9, 2013

In July 2013, Boston Veteran Mike Savicki was selected to receive the “Spirit of the Games” award at the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games, held in Tampa, FL. This coveted national award recognizes the wheelchair participant who most outstandingly exhibits positive
qualities fostered by all great athletes: sportsmanship, competitiveness, camaraderie, and compassion.

In 1991, Mike, then age 22, was training to become a Navy pilot when he dove into the waters of Pensacola Beach, Florida, broke his neck, and suffered a C6 spinal cord injury resulting in tetraplegia. He came to the Spinal cord Injury (SCI) Center at VA Boston Healthcare System for 8 months of intense rehabilitation.

Prior to injury, Mike had always been an athlete. When he was injured, under the guidance of his therapists, he turned to sports as a part of his rehabilitation.

Twenty two years later Mike continues to compete in adaptive sports. He has been to the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in every one of those twenty-two years. Sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America, these Games are the largest annual wheelchair sports competition in the world. Over 500 Veterans from all over the U.S., both novice and experienced, compete in numerous sports.

Using a wheelchair for half of his life has not stopped Mike from living his life to the fullest, and achieving his goals. He earned a BA from Tufts University and an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, where he was the second graduate to use a wheelchair. He is a
life member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and a noted life member of the National Eagle Scout Association.

Mike, indeed, has a full life. He works full time as a freelance writer, with a website and a blog supporting others living with SCI. Mike operates his own company that provides creative communication services for businesses, individuals and nonprofits. He participates in adaptive sports, spends time with his family, and advocates for persons with SCI.

 

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