Devil Dog brings home the gold from National Wheelchair Games

Julia LeDoux
August 28, 2019 - 11:20 am
Tim Connor

Photo courtesy of Department of Veterans Affairs

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Tim Connor is golden.

The Marine vet recently earned a gold medal in power lifting at the 39th annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Louisville, Kentucky.

“If anybody thinks they can’t do something, then they haven’t tried to do it yet,” Conner said in a release from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “Anything is possible. The more you can get out there and do, and the more active you are, the happier you’ll be.”

Connor fractured his spinal cord in a motocross accident several years ago and works with health care providers and recreational therapists at the Lake City VA Medical Center to prep for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.  

“We really don’t have any limitations,” he said. “We have anything but possibilities. It makes you realize that you’re not just a guy in a wheelchair, that you mean more to people than what you think, and for a lot of athletes that makes all the difference.”

Connor also participated in team relay, javelin, shot put, slalom, super G, Spartan obstacle racing and wheelchair distance racing at this year’s games. He earned gold medals in both the slalom and super G in 2017 and 2018 and has plans to compete in the games again next year.

“He takes on the Marine thought pattern of tackling it head-on,” Recreation Therapist Katie Blunk said. “While that can cause bumps and bruises quite often, it also is a learning experience. He uses it to fly through slalom and super G courses like those at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.”

Conner also participates in hand cycling, wheelchair racing, marathons, and flat track four-wheeler racing and uses an adaptive dirt bike in motocross events.

“The wheelchair is just for parking,” he joked.

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Reach Julia LeDoux: Julia@connectingvets.com

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