Inaugural CanAm Veterans’ Challenge Team to be introduced by World T.E.A.M. Sports

By Richard Rhinehart

Arlington, Virginia, April 23, 2014 – National non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports will formally introduce team members of the 2014 CanAm Veterans’ Challenge at the organization’s annual Face of America banquet Friday evening, April 25 in Arlington.

This June 20 through July 4, a team of 19 injured veterans from the United States, Canada and Denmark will ride bicycles, hand cycles and recumbent bikes more than 750 miles through three states and one province, traveling from Ottawa, the capital of Canada, to Washington D.C., the capital of the United States.

José Santiago and George W. Bush.

José Santiago, a member of the Can Am Veterans’ Challenge 2014 Team, poses with former President George W. Bush at the Bush Center’s 2013 Warrior 100K Ride in Texas. Photograph courtesy José Santiago and the George W. Bush Institute.

The team includes five Canadian injured veterans, ten American veterans and one Danish veteran. Accompanying the team are two pilots for blind veterans and six able-bodied civilians, who will ride in support of the participating veterans.

Injured veterans to ride in the Challenge include: Robert Bidder (Canada); Mike Cotts (Canada); Richard Desjardins (Canada); Michael Fuentespina (Canada); Dean Peach (Canada); Baskis (USA); Scott Bates (USA); Harry Carr (USA); Marc Gabiger (USA); Larry Gunter (USA); Jeff Henson (USA); Christopher Levi (USA); Marina Libro (USA); David Santamore (USA); Jose Santiago (USA); Robert Clayton (USA – pilot); Victor Henderson (USA – pilot); and Jens Sondergaard (Denmark).

Harry Carr at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado.

Veteran Harry Carr is a member of the 2014 CanAm Veterans’ Challenge team. He has participated in World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America and Adventure Team Challenge Colorado events. Photograph by Brian Gliba.

These injured service members have amputations, hearing and vision loss, cancer, paralysis, Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress, yet they will be riding together to honor veterans who have sacrificed much in support of their country, and to show the public that persons with disabilities can accomplish much in life.

The CanAm Veterans’ Challenge is a new event for 2014 from World T.E.A.M. Sports, an innovative organization that creates inclusive sporting events for athletes both disabled and able-bodied. These last two decades, past events include a world bicycle ride, climbs of high alpine peaks, a cross-country ride in Vietnam with former combatants, a sea kayak journey in the Pacific Northwest, several cross-America bicycle rides, annual team adventure sports for adults and children, and the popular Face of America bicycle ride this April 25-27 from Washington to Gettysburg.

Presented by Realty Capital Securities LLC in collaboration with Wounded Warriors Canada and Soldier On, the 2014 CanAm Veterans’ Challenge team will ride from 40 to 110 miles each day in their two-week journey. The veterans will ride though farmlands and forests, suburban and urban communities large and small, and will meet Americans from both sides of the border.

Sponsors for the inaugural CanAm include Realty Capital Securities LLC, American Portfolios, Benson Botsford LLC, Gerstein Fisher, Penske Truck Rental, and Pershing.

About World T.E.A.M. Sports

World T.E.A.M. Sports is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered in North Carolina and headquartered in Holbrook, New York. Since 1993, World T.E.A.M. Sports has organized athletic events for disabled and able bodied citizens – mountain climbing, white water rafting, biking, and more. Four things always happen at our events: (1) Disabled participants build self-confidence and physical fitness; (2) The disabled provide a role model for other disabled citizens, encouraging them to take up physical activities; (3) The disabled become a moving inspiration to other participants and to spectators when they see that disabled individuals can meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination; and (4) The disabled and able-bodied participants learn to work as a team to overcome those challenges. World T.E.A.M. Sports changes lives through sports.

Ike Isaacson and Steve Baskis

Veterans Steve Baskis (right) and Aaron “Ike” Isaacson on World T.E.A.M. Sports’ October, 2010 Nepal Expedition. Steve Baskis is riding the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge this June. Photograph copyright 2010, Didrik Johnck, Johnck Media.