Jimmy May – Involved in the Games since 1981
Jim May knows his way around the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. As a participant in 1981 and now in 2012, his vast experience is a great resource for newcomers.
“It’s not about me but the other Veterans.” said May. He serves as an inspiration to the Veterans who are just starting their journey in the Games and he has this advice to give to them. “You might not like it at first but after awhile you will… Don’t think you can’t do it. Never say never, You can do it.”
May has participated in every one of the National Veteran Wheelchair Games except for the 27th in Milwaukee due to a surgery. Throughout his thirty-one years of participating in the Games his wife of 43 years, two sons and grandchildren have been a major sup¬port team for him. The Games have been a “lifetime thing,” for May and he says his participation, “kept him from being bored, laying in a hospital bed.”
May has watched the Games grow from 74 participants in Richmond in 1981 to today where over 600 Veterans will participate in over 17 events. May now considers the Games to be the “National Wheelchair Olympics” compared to their modest but groundbreaking start 31 years ago.
May keeps the spirit of the Games alive during the year through his community service and coaching. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America; is the President of the Independent Wheelchair Athletic Association; and coaches the Richmond Rim Riders wheelchair basketball team.
He has won over 100 medals in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and hopes to add a couple more in the five events he’s entered this year. But the medals have nothing to do with why May continues to come back to the Games year after year.