SportAbility of Iowa wheelchairs back for this year's Paralympic - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SportAbility of Iowa wheelchairs back for this year's Paralympic Experience

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - You can call 8-year old Adam Arp a winner.

"Dad, no. Mom, yes. I beat her in everything," said Arp.

Arp is an active boy brushing off his tennis skills at the 8th Annual Paralympic Experience at held at Kirkwood Community College.

"Practicing to hit," said Arp. "At first I hit all of them."

Adam was born with Spina Bifida, he's just one of dozens participating in this years Paralympic Experience for individuals with physical and visual adversities to help them be healthy and active.

The event is sponsored by St. Luke's Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and SportAbility of Iowa with the help of Kirkwood Community College physical therapist students.

"They can do what everyone else is doing and they feel like everything's OK, things aren't holding them back and it's just a blissful feeling," said Kirkwood student Betsy Lawson. "Gives them a place to overcome that adversity."

Rick Bartlett with SportAbility knows that first hand, he's an amputee.

"People who have adapted and overcame their personal struggles," said Bartlett

SportAbility recently overcame another struggle.

In 2014, they were didn't have all their equipment because someone stole 13 of their specially-adapted wheelchairs.

"Trailer was stolen with the wheelchairs," said Bartlett. "We did retrieve them and we do have more. So we got a blessing out of a negative."

The program's goal is to show individuals with physical and visual disabilities, participating in sports and living a healthy and active lifestyle can positively affect your

"You're worthy, you're good enough, you're amazing and don't let this one thing hold you back," said Lawson. "Because look what you're doing you're doing great things. They're impacting us, my life is impacted today and it's amazing."

The man accused of stealing the trailer was arrested last may.

Police say Rick Allen Smith, 39, was driving a stolen vehicle from Jones County when he was pulled over in southwest Cedar Rapids.

Smith was charged with first-degree theft for knowingly possessing the wheelchairs, valued at over $10,000, and first-degree criminal mischief for property damage for chopping up and scrapping the majority of the wheelchairs, according to the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

Related Stories: 


http://www.kwwl.com/story/25635380/2014/05/28/cedar-rapids-man-arrested-in-theft-of-sportability-wheelchairs

http://www.kwwl.com/story/24227254/2013/12/16/update-stolen-trailer-found-wheelchairs-still-missing

http://www.kwwl.com/story/24438648/2014/01/13/vgm-raises-12000-to-fund-stolen-wheelchairs

http://www.kwwl.com/story/24401277/2014/01/08/fundraiser-to-help-replace-stolen-wheelchairs

http://www.kwwl.com/story/24821716/2014/02/25/some-sportability-wheelchairs-found-but-its-not-good-news

http://www.kwwl.com/story/25314862/2014/04/22/iowa-chairiots-wheelchairs-replaced-back-on-the-basketball-court

http://www.kwwl.com/story/25109349/2014/03/29/sportability-close-to-getting-all-stolen-wheelchairs-replaced

http://www.kwwl.com/story/25604272/2014/05/24/sportability-of-iowa-hosts-thank-you-event-for-people-who-helped-replace-wheelchairs

http://www.kwwl.com/story/17303404/cedar-rapids-athletes-introduced-to-paralympic-experience


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