Veteran and athlete Buddy Hayes of New Mexico recently scored gold in all five of the events she competed in at the 32nd Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games held in Virginia late last month. What’s even more impressive is that this isn’t the first time Hayes has seen such success. She earned a clean sweep at the 2006 Games in Alaska.
“That’s what the vets call a clean sweep,” Hayes said. “It’s when all your events win a gold medal, and you can only compete in five … When that happens, I say, ‘Get the broom out!’”
Hayes, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, competed in air rifle, slalom, the 25-yard backstroke, 25-yard breaststroke and 50-yard freestyle. Taking home gold in the air-rifle competition was an important step for her as she aims to compete in the event at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I would have been happy getting anything because there are over 400 shooters … I was ecstatic with a gold,” Hayes said.
The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is held annually organized by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and is the largest gathering of wheelchair athletes in the world. The purpose of the games is to improve the quality of life for veterans with disabilities and fostering better health through sports competition.
For more information on the Games and athletes like Buddy Hayes, visit: www.va.gov/opa/speceven/wcg/index.asp