Adventure Team Challenge

Inclusive Team Challenges for Exceptional Athletes

Team members begin a stage at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge at McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area west of Grand Junction. Photograph by Brian Gliba.

The Adventure Team Challenge Changes Lives through Team Competition and Cooperation

From Colorado to New York, the Adventure Team Challenge from World T.E.A.M. Sports is a series of outdoor adventure events that bring together teams of athletes with disabilities with able-bodied athletes.

Challenge events in Colorado, North Carolina, New York and suburban Washington D.C. offer participants opportunities to experience outdoor sports. For many exceptional athletes with disabilities, participating in a team challenge offers a chance to explore our natural world, from paddling on lakes and rivers to hiking and biking through deep woods to climbing high mountains and jagged rocks. The Adventure Team Challenge inspires.

This September 23-25, Experience the Thrill of Colorado’s Adventure Team Challenge

Get ready for the adventure of your lifetime. This September 23-25, World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Adventure Team Challenge Colorado is returning. Directed by World T.E.A.M. Sports and experienced event organizers Billy and Helene Mattison, the Adventure Team Challenge in Colorado’s high desert near Grand Junction brings together disabled and able-bodied athletes for three days of spirited team competition. Directed by experienced adventure athletes, participants in the Challenge can expect rafting, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and other exciting outdoor activities, along with good fellowship, food and tent camping underneath the brilliant Milky Way of the high Colorado Plateau.

Preparing for the following day's stage.

Team members prepare for the following day’s stage. Photograph by Brian Gliba.

Challenge teams compete mostly against the clock in this event, as finishing all stages is an accomplishment in itself. There is also pride in claiming the title as the Adventure Team Challenge champion by finishing the stages in the shortest time. Along the way, participants are challenged both physically and mentally, and learn that innovation and teamwork are the keys to success.

Adventure Team Challenge Colorado 2016 Logo

Debuting in 2007 as the Real Deal Inclusive Sports Adventure, the 2016 Adventure Team Challenge will inspire and challenge athletes of all abilities. With each team of five including two athletes with disabilities, one being a wheelchair user, the Challenge provides an opportunity for competitors to work together toward shared goals and rewards.

Since the first Challenge in June 2007, Colorado has served as the host for this world-class event. The 2007-2011 and 2014-2015 Challenges were held in the high mountains near Rancho del Rio along the Colorado River north of Eagle and south of Leadville along the Arkansas River. In 2012 and 2013, the Challenge was held in the scenic McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area west of Grand Junction.

In its tenth year of competition, the 2016 Challenge will provide participants with new challenges in the secluded and beautiful mesas and canyons of red sandstone in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area not far from the Utah state line. Seasoned adventure athletes, weekend warriors and desk jockeys desiring adventure will be tested at altitudes up to 6,000 feet above sea level. Teammates will need to join together to innovate and solve problems through tackling physical challenges to successfully complete this wilderness course. Participants will build camaraderie and celebrate diversity, cheering each other as they successfully negotiate each obstacle. Magnificent high desert terrain, forbidding redrock canyons, whitewater river terrain and inspiring competitors will create an unforgettable experience for all participants.

The 2015 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado was supported through sponsors and partners including American Portfolios Financial Services, Deven’s Recycling, Pearl Meyer & Partners, Skanska USA, TimeCapital and Timberline Sports. Additional financial support was provided by Jim Noland, George Puskar and James Benson. 2016 sponsors are forthcoming.

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Explore the 2015 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado website.

Adventure Team Challenge North Carolina Debuted in November 2015

Providing an adaptive athlete an assist.

Team members provide an adaptive athlete an assist during the Challenge. Photograph by Tony Granata.

The excitement of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Adventure Team Challenge came to the eastern United States November 13-15, 2015 with the inaugural Adventure Team Challenge North Carolina. It is anticipated the Challenge will return in October 2016.

Adventure Team Challenge NC Logo

Presented by MetLife, and hosted at the 700-acre U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, the Challenge featured thrills and technical challenges for eight disabled and able-bodied military veteran and civilian teams. Participants were challenged by three stages including off-road bicycling, whitewater rafting, zip lines, orienteering and rock climbing.

Directed by the team that manages the Colorado Challenge, the North Carolina Challenge tested the strength and determination of participating athletes and encouraged cooperative teamwork.

The 2015 Adventure Team Challenge North Carolina was presented by MetLife and supported through sponsors and partners including American Airlines, official airline of the Challenge; American Portfolios Financial Services; and TimeCapital. Additional financial support was provided by George Puskar. Sponsors for 2016 are forthcoming.

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Explore the 2015 Adventure Team Challenge North Carolina website.

The Adventure Team Challenge New York Challenges Young Developmentally-Disabled Adults

World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inclusive Adventure Team Challenge at Frost Valley, New York this September 9-10 will engage developmentally disabled teens and young adults from New York and New Jersey in an epic weekend of competitive team sporting events.

Water sports at the 2015 Challenge.

Team members enjoy water sports at the 2015 Challenge at Frost Valley, New York. Photograph by Sarah Bell.

Sponsored by American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. and The Center for Discovery, this inclusive Challenge will provide an opportunity for the developmentally disabled to solve sporting challenges. Each participating team will work together to successfully complete each stage of the multisport event to cross the finish line together. Held at the Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, New York, the participating teams in the Challenge will include four athletes with disabilities with six to eight able-bodied coaches. Through inclusive competition, disabled participants will build confidence and serve as a role model for others, as well as inspiring all competitors and spectators.

Adventure Team Challenge New York LogoThe September 2016 Adventure Team Challenge New York will offer multiple outdoor challenges for participants. In 2015, the event began with an orienteering challenge and a campfire under the stars. The following day, selected participants were up early to climb Slide Mountain, the highest peak in the Catskill Mountains. Later, a bike race and relay challenge encouraged the teams to use their skills to successfully complete the stage. The Challenge completed with the annual Regatta Challenge on Lake Cole at Frost Valley, allowing participants to experience water sports. The day finished off with an awards ceremony for all athletes.

Since the inaugural Challenge in 2010, more than 100 developmentally disabled athletes from The Center for Discovery have participated in the competitions.

“When you have the opportunity to spend two or three days with the exceptional athlete in a World T.E.A.M. event, you look beyond the wheelchair, beyond their physical and emotional challenges, and see the human being looking right back at you,” said the Challenge organizer Lon Dolber, the CEO and President of American Portfolios. “You recognize all that is possible within yourself.”

Explore the 2014 New York photo gallery by Melissa Grappone.

Explore the 2014 New York photo gallery by MaryAnn Rosolino.

Explore the 2013 New York photo gallery.

Adventure Team Challenge Washington DC Brings Adventure to the City

Adventure Team Challenge DC LogoFor participants of the Adventure Team Challenge Washington DC, outside adventure is just outside the city. In the 2011, 2013 and 2014 DC Challenges, developmentally-disabled children traveled to the scenic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park along the Potomac River, just west of Washington. Here, the teens were matched with able-bodied athletes who provided assistance and support in activities that included canoeing, mountain biking and hiking.

Participants will again take to the trails and the canal of the National Historical Park in the 2016 Adventure Team Challenge Washington DC.

Learn more about the Washington DC Challenge.

Support of Adventure Team Challenge Colorado

“Throughout our history, Alteryx has evolved from a product-based company to one that values our ongoing relationship with customers. Participating in the Adventure Team Challenge was a perfect way to learn from amazing people how to create an exceptional community. By fielding a team, we discovered that showing up, participating with a full heart and finishing together is what transforms ordinary individuals into extraordinary heroes and ultimately creates a community of solution providers, and this continues to inspire our shared ingenuity. ”

Ned Harding, CTO, Alteryx, team participant.

Rappelling at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge.

Rope skills are important at Adventure Team Challenge Colorado events. Photograph by Van Brinson.

“ATC allowed me to really push my limits both physically and mentally. Our team was forced to deal with situations that were unforeseen and out of the ordinary which created even a deeper team bond. Both myself and my team left ATC feeling stronger then when we arrived, and had already began planning for the next year.”

Sgt. Neil Duncan, double-leg-amputee, team participant.

“The ATC gives people the inspiration to achieve, no matter what the obstacles are, and to live life no matter what. It shows others what can be done and gives them the confidence to do the unthinkable. This confidence and inspiration is not just for the disabled, but even more so for all of us.”

Nino Pozgaj, 2010-11 team participant, Alteryx.

“I have been fascinated by adventure sports, but in a wheelchair, it didn’t seem likely that I could ever participate. The Real Deal was beyond my wildest dreams. It was amazing to see an event absolutely integrated, with able-bodied and people with different disabilities and everyone working together seamlessly. It gave a whole new meaning to the word teamwork. It forced me to reframe things I’ve learned. I didn’t want to be pushed or pulled on my mountain bike. But, I realized that the smart teams worked together on the uphills, with a tandem bike pulling a hand bike. My pride was costing me and my team time. It was a complete, and welcome paradigm shift in my thinking. We all got a chance to be real. It was magic.”

Bob Vogel, freelance journalist, photographer, professional ski instructor, disabled athlete and team participant about the 2008 Real Deal, precursor to the Adventure Team Challenge.

“The beauty of adventure racing is that there are no superstars; everyone on the team plays an integral role and has to cross the finish line together. Everybody has moments when they suffer and are in pain, moments when they need help to keep going, and moments when they shine. The best teams are those which can tap into the talents of each member and find a collective team strength which becomes bigger than its parts.”

Erik Weihenmayer, blind adventurer, team participant, 2007-2012.

Adventure Team Challenge Media

Rafting on the Colorado River.

Teams raft on the Colorado River, guided by Timberline Tours guides. Photograph by Chelsea Roberson.

Challenge Photo Galleries

2015 Van Brinson Adventure Team Challenge Colorado SmugMug image gallery.

2015 Richard Rhinehart Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Flickr image gallery.

2015 Sarah Bell Adventure Team Challenge Colorado SmugMug image gallery.

2014 Brian Gliba Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Shutterfly image gallery.

2014 Marc McGlynn Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Shutterfly image gallery.

2014 Melissa Poole Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Shutterfly image gallery.

2014 Chelsea Roberson Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Shutterfly image gallery.

2014 Victor Henderson Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Shutterfly image gallery.

2014 Richard Rhinehart Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Shutterfly image gallery.

2014 Van Brinson Adventure Team Challenge Colorado SmugMug image gallery.

2013 World T.E.A.M. Sports Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Flickr image gallery.

2013 Brian Gliba Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Flickr image gallery.

2013 Van Brinson Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Prologue SmugMug image gallery.

2013 Van Brinson Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Stage One SmugMug image gallery.

2013 Van Brinson Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Stage Two SmugMug image gallery.

2012 World T.E.A.M. Sports Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Flickr image gallery.

2012 Peter Wayne Adventure Team Challenge Colorado image gallery.

2012 Tom Nardi Adventure Team Challenge Colorado image gallery.

2012 Colorado Adaptive Sports Adventure Team Challenge Colorado image gallery.

2012 Alteryx Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Flickr Galleries – Prologue | Camp | Day 1 – Hike | Day 1 – River | Day 2 – Bike | Day 2 – Climb | Day 2 – Rappel

2011 World T.E.A.M. Sports Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Flickr image gallery.

2011 Alteryx Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Flickr image gallery, including images from several photographers.

2011 Team Crump Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Picasa image gallery.

2011 Prouty Project Adventure Team Challenge Colorado YouTube image montage.

2011 Tom Nardi Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Shutterfly image gallery.

2011 Team Atlas Adventure Team Challenge Colorado YouTube video.

2010 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Flickr image gallery.

2010 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Peter Wayne Photography Smugmug image gallery.

2010 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Wayne Moore Galleries: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

2009 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Shutterfly image galleries.

Adventure Team Challenge Colorado Media Coverage

Explore media reports about the Adventure Team Challenge events at the World T.E.A.M. Sports Press by Event pages.2008 Real Deal Logo

Learn more about the 2008 Real Deal Inclusive Sports Adventure, the predecessor to the Adventure Team Challenge Colorado at the Denver Post, and at AXS Vail Valley. NBC Sports’ World of Adventure Sports featured the event in November, 2008.

Explore the 2007 Real Deal Photo Gallery, featuring images by Don Patterson.

The inspiration of the Adventure Team Challenge Colorado

Video by Victor Henderson.

Video by Andrew S. Bishop.

Video by Andrew Bishop.

Video courtesy Harry Carr, Harry’s Adventures.

World T.E.A.M. Sports 2012 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado video.

Video courtesy Team Atlas Shrugged/Topher Downham.

Video courtesy Alteryx, Inc..

Video courtesy Topher Downham.

Video courtesy Alteryx, Inc..

Video courtesy Alteryx, Inc..

The 2010 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado.

The 2009 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado.