HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — This weekend, hundreds of athletes will be competing right here in Huntsville, and there's one special group known as the Paralyzed Veterans of America. U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Paralyzed Veterans of America racer Redzuan Razak did two tours of duty as a rifleman, and was about to deploy for a third time when he was injured in a car accident. "I never thought I'd race the world cup to be honest. some of the Paralyzed Veterans of America we have a high-performance training camp for for our veterans every year, and it it kind of so that the program ranges from from beginning to level which were where I was. And then I started doing some of these upper echelon camps and then got us to where we are today," he explained.
PVA racer and U.S. Navy Veteran Jackie Jones shared a small portion of what goes into preparing for this kind of competition. "So then hand cyclist training, it's about 15 hours a week." Jones suffered a spinal stroke "out of nowhere" about 3 years ago after a family barbecue and says this competition gives him the opportunity to see where he stands against all the other competitors. "But it's going to be exciting, there's always that anxiety."
PVA racer and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Leigh Sumner agrees and shared about how she got here also. "When I was was younger, was invited to an Olympic Developmental Camp in 1984, but couldn't go because I was a young marine." The PVA racer believes, it's never too late, and age doesn't have to be an excuse.
Overall, Razak said PVA is here as a team! "Because we didn't make team USA, but some of our members are actually in team USA and we also produce some Paralympians."