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A History of Adaptive Sports USA and the Junior Nationals
A History of the Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals
The Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals is the oldest and largest continuously held competitive sports event for athletes with physical disabilities ages 6 to 22 in North America. Started in 1984, Junior Nationals has been held in varying locations throughout the United States, including the college campuses of Colorado State, San Jose State, Ohio State University, Princeton, Rutgers and Iowa State. Developed under the guidance of the Junior Committee of Adaptive Sports USA, Junior Nationals has grown greatly over the years in part because of an emphasis on participation and inclusion for athletes with physcial disabilities, including spinal cord injury; Spina Bifida; Cerebral Palsy; TBI; amputation (congenital/surgical); genetic diseases; etc. This event has served as a training ground for the some of the finest future Paralympic athletes in the country. In the 2012 London Paralympic Games, conducted immediately after the Olympic Games, 46% of Team USA were alumnus of the Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals. The event has served as the developmental training ground for some of the greatest Paralympic athletes in the United States, including multi-Gold Medalist Paralympians Tatyana McFadden; Ray Martin; and Marathon Gold Medalist Shirley Reilly.