BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Denver, Colorado, June 13, 2011: Disabled and non-disabled athletes from 12 states and Canada will undertake the exceptional physical demands of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ 2011 Adventure TEAM Challenge this June 25-27 in central Colorado’s high mountains near Eagle.
Along the rugged Colorado River valley east of State Bridge, 13 participating teams of five athletes each will mountain bike across rocky Bureau of Land Management trails, raft thrilling rapids of the Colorado, cross lofty ziplines and rappel down rocky cliffs. For many, winning the Challenge will not be their primary goal – simply finishing together as a team will be sufficiently rewarding.
Unlike other adventure races, the Challenge requires that each participating team include two athletes with disabilities, one of which must be a wheelchair user. Participants in the 2011 event include quadriplegic and paraplegic athletes, athletes with traumatic brain injuries, athletes without sight, amputee athletes, and honored wounded warriors from the wars in the Middle East.
Created in 2007 by Golden, Colorado blind adventurer and mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer, a participant in ABC’s summer television adventure series, “Expedition Impossible,” the Challenge is one of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inclusive events nationally. From its founding in 1993, the non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports has developed and managed a number of high-profile outdoor events including both athletes with disabilities and those without. These include the 1995 AXA World Ride, the Vietnam Challenge in 1998, two bicycle rides from Ground Zero in New York to the Pentagon in Washington, the Face of America ride from Washington to Gettysburg, the Coastal Team Challenge in 2009 along the Pacific Northwest coast, and the Soldiers to the Summit Nepal expedition in October 2010.
Like these earlier events, the Adventure TEAM Challenge brings together athletes to accomplish goals beyond what is thought possible. Through the Challenge, participants with disabilities will increase their self-confidence and serve as an inspiration to other citizens, both disabled and non-disabled.
Dean Stoecker, President and CEO, Alteryx, Inc., a participant of the 2010 Adventure TEAM Challenge, reports his Alteryx team “discovered that winning is not what transforms ordinary people into extraordinary heroes. Showing up, participating with your full heart, and finishing – from everyone involved: spectator, supporter, or competitor – this is what transforms ordinary individuals into an amazing community.” Alteryx returns in 2011 as presenting sponsor for the event; other participating teams are sponsored by The Prouty Project, the Crump Group, Lumber Liquidators, CGSchool and Atlas Advertising.