The Chicago Park District will host the 11th Annual Valor Games Midwest in Chicago, IL on August 15-17, 2023. Valor Games Midwest is a three-day Paralympic sport competition for disabled veterans and wounded, ill or injured service members. This is an introductory competition, no previous experience is required to participate. Athletes can compete in discus, shot put, cycling, archery, powerlifting, indoor rowing, biathlon, or table tennis. We welcome your application and appreciate your interest in participating.
As a part of Valor Games Midwest, the Chicago Park District will host a Resource Fair at Soldier Field (Gate O, inside Concourse) on Tuesday, August 15 from 11am-2pm. Veterans, active duty, and military family members are invited to connect with agencies and organizations that provide military-specific assistance in areas including education, employment, housing, legal, disabilities, mental health, and family services. A list of resource fair vendors will be posted soon.
- Tuesday, August 15 at Soldier Field
Rowing – 9am-12pm
Biathlon – 9:30am – 12pm
- Resource Fair – 11am-2pm (Gate O, inside Concourse)
- Field Events (Shot Put & Discuss) – 1pm-4pm
- Wednesday, August 16 at Lincoln Park
- Archery - 9am-1pm (at Lincoln Park Archery Range)
- Cycling Experience – 1pm-4pm (at Wilson-Lincoln Parking Lot)
- Thursday, August 17 at McKinley Park Field House (2210 W. Pershing Rd.)
- Table Tennis – 9am-11:30am
- Power Lifting – 12:30pm- 3:30pm
- Tuesday, August 15 from 11am-2pm
- At Soldier Field (Gate O, inside Concourse)
- Open to Veterans, active duty, and military family members. Participation in Valor Games is not required to attend.
- Participating vendors will be announced soon!
The application is now closed as the deadline to apply has passed.
Applications Important things to note:
- All eligible athletes are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to athletes that live in the Midwest region of the United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. However, we welcome applications from those outside of the Midwest region.
- Applications are accepted from those who have served or are currently serving in the US Armed Forces. The time frame in which you served, the location, or cause of your injury will not preclude your application from being considered.
- Only fully completed applications will be reviewed by the application committee. Applying to the Valor Games Midwest does not guarantee acceptance.
- The application will close on July 14. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status on or before July 21, 2023.
- Hotel accommodations will be available to all athletes that are interested.
If you experience any difficulty with the online application or have any additional questions about Valor Games Midwest, please contact Veterans Programs at email@example.com
- Caregiver Information
View the Caregiver Agreement here: Caregiver Agreement
- Service Animal Information
View the Service Animal Agreement here: Service Animal Agreement
- Athlete Code of Conduct
As a participant in the Valor Games Midwest (VGM), I understand that I will be representing myself, other Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Chicago Park District, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Dare2Tri, Adaptive Adventures, North Side Archery Club, Central Cross Country Skiing, US Rowing, and USA Para Powerlifting. I understand it is a privilege to be selected and to compete in VGM.
I understand that if I am found in violation of the Code of Conduct, I may be immediately disqualified from the event and sent home at my own expense. Depending on the type of violation, I may be prohibited from competing in future VGM events.
In order to compete, I must agree to abide by the VGM Code of Conduct as detailed below:
- I will behave in a professional, courteous, and respectful manner toward fellow participants, staff, volunteers, and event spectators.
- I understand that no form of abuse or harassment, whether it is verbal, physical, emotional or sexual, will be tolerated.
- As this is a sporting competition and VGM is committed to supporting each athlete to compete at his or her highest level, I will refrain from the consumption of alcohol or illegal substances during VGM.
- I will respect all property at the event, including that of my fellow Veterans. I understand that I am responsible for any damage that I cause. This includes smoking in non-smoking hotel rooms.
- I am responsible for all charges and use of incidentals (movies, room services, items from a mini bar) in my hotel room.
- I understand that I will not be reimbursed by VGM for any transportation, food, equipment or any other services purchased on my own.
- I will abide by the decisions of the event officials and local organizing committee.
- I understand that if I am late to scheduled events, I may forfeit my participation. Furthermore, if I am late to ground transportation it is my responsibility to coordinate alternative transportation to get to the competition venue at my own expense.
- I understand that Chicago Park District staff will not perform personal care for participants of VGM and that participants that are unable to perform their own personal care independently, as a result of a medical condition, will require a caregiver to accompany them to VGM.
- I will only travel with a caregiver if it is medically necessary. I understand that due to the costs associated with this event, bringing a caregiver who is not needed for activities of daily living (or ADLs), travel or competition does mean that another Veteran will not be able to attend.
- If I am traveling with a service animal, I understand that I am responsible for handling my service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. I understand that animals whose sole purpose is to provide emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and therefore are not permitted at VGM.
- If I am not able to attend VGM, I will contact the event staff via email or phone as soon as possible. I understand that if I am approved and do not cancel my participation, that I am taking away the opportunity for another Veteran to attend, and in the future may not be eligible to participate in VMG.
What is the Valor Games?
A three-day Paralympic Sport competition for disabled veterans and wounded, ill or injured service members. This is a grassroots and introductory competition. No previous experience required.
What are the dates and general schedule for Valor Games Midwest (VGM) 2023?
The 2023 Valor Games Midwest will take place August 15-17, 2023.
August 15: Registration, Resource Fair, Rowing (Indoor), Biathlon, Field Events (Shot put and discus)
August 16: Archery & Cycling
August 17: Table Tennis & Powerlifting
Where will the competitions take place?
The 20223 event will take place in various Chicago Park District locations within Chicago, IL. Tuesday, August 15th events will be held at Soldier Field. Wednesday, August 16th events will be held at Lincoln Park Archery Range and the Lincoln Park Wilson Parking lot. Thursday, August 17th events will be held at McKinley Park.
Who is eligible to compete?
- Service requirement:
Applications are accepted from those who have served or are currently serving in the US Armed Forces. The time-frame in which you served, the location, or cause of your injury will not preclude your application from being considered.
- Disabilities Include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment or Blind
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Hearing Loss
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Shrapnel Injury
- Other orthopedic impairment
All athletes that are interested in competing must submit an online application by the July 14 deadline.
How do interested athletes apply?
All interested athletes are required to apply for Valor Games Midwest (VGM). The online application will be open May 2 – July 14. Only fully completed applications will be reviewed by the application committee. Applying to the VGM does not guarantee acceptance. Priority for the 2023 VGM will be given to athletes who require adaptation to participate in sports due to their disability. Priority is given to athletes who have not competed in VGM in previous years. Athletes will be notified by July 21 if they have been chosen to compete in the 2023 VGM. For more information about the application process please contact Aimee Gottlieb (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ricardo Lara (email@example.com)
What sports are being offered at this year’s games?
Athletes will have the opportunity to compete in the following sports:
- Field Events (shout put and discus)
- Indoor Rowing
- Table Tennis
Athletes will also have the opportunity to take part in a cycling experience along the Chicago Lakefront Path.
Where will the athletes stay?
Hotel accommodations will be provided for all interested athletes during the event (the nights of August 15 and 16) at Hilton Downtown Chicago Hotel (720 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL). If an athlete prefers to stay at home in lieu of staying in the hotel that is okay as well. We have a limited number of rooms available for Monday, August 14 and/or Thursday, August 17 for athletes traveling from more than 150 miles away from the hotel. The Chicago Park District will cover a hotel stay on Monday, August 14 and/or Thursday, August 17 for those athletes only. For local athletes (anyone traveling 149 miles or less from the Hilton Chicago), staying at the hotel outside of August 15 and 16 is the responsibility of the athlete.
Where are the closest transportation hubs?
Transportation to Valor Games Midwest and home from the games is the responsibility of the Athlete. Funding, scheduling and purchasing is not provided by Valor Games Midwest.
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Greyhound Bus Terminal (630 W Harrison Street)
Chicago Union Station (225 S Canal St)
How do I get to the competition venues each day?
Shuttle buses provided by Valor Games Midwest will transport athletes from the hotel to competition venues and back each day. On August 15, athletes are responsible for their own transportation to Soldier Field this also includes athletes that are staying at the hotel the night of August 14.
Athletes who are not staying at the hotel will be responsible for securing their own transportation to and from the competition venues each day. Free parking will be provided at each of the venues. All venues are accessible via Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) bus, train and rideshare/taxi services.
Will meals be provided?
Valor Games Midwest will provide breakfast on the mornings of August 16 and 17 and lunch all three days of the competition. Athletes are responsible for dinner and snacks.
When will I hear if I have been chosen to compete?
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and athletes will be notified of their acceptance status by July 21, 2023. Applicants not initially accepted will automatically be placed on a waiting list.
What happens if I am placed on the waiting list?
If a chosen athlete is unable to attend the games, someone from the waitlist will be chosen to participate. Valor Games Midwest will notify you if a spot opens.
What will the Chicago Park District cover?
Athlete’s hotel accommodations on August 15 and 16 (and on August 14 and/or 17 for athletes coming from 150 miles or more from the Hilton), parking, some meals, transportation to and from competition venues and event apparel will be provided at NO COST.
Can the athlete's family attend?
We are happy to welcome spectators for the 2023 games! However, these family members cannot stay at the hotel or use transportation provided by the Chicago Park District unless they are registered as an athlete’s medically necessary caregiver.
Can I bring a service animal?
Please see the Service Animal Information section above for further information.
Who can I contact should I have additional questions or concerns?
Please contact Veterans Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Service requirement: