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Challenged Athletes raises $3.1 million at annual weekend of events for athletes of all abilities

Children take part in a Challenged Athletes Foundation wheelchair basketball clinic on Saturday, Oct. 22, near Mission Bay.
(Courtesy of Donald Miralle)

All proceeds go to the San Diego nonprofit’s programs that provide sports grants, adaptive equipment and athletic training for children and adults with disabilities

Challenged Athletes Foundation raised more than $3.1 million in October during three days of events in San Diego that included the San Diego Triathlon Challenge and multiple adaptive sports clinics for athletes with physical challenges.

All proceeds from the annual Challenged Athletes Foundation Community Weekend on Oct. 21-23 will go toward the 28-year-old organization’s grant programs, which provide adaptive sports equipment, travel and training money for competitions and educational sports camps for people with disabilities. Since 1994, CAF has raised more than $147 million to grant more than 40,000 requests from people in all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide.

This year’s CAF Community Weekend began with the conclusion of the Million Dollar Challenge, a seven-day, 640-mile cycle ride from San Francisco to San Diego that raised more than $1.8 million. The weekend also included the San Diego Triathlon Challenge, which collected $1.2 million, and the Tour de Cove stationary cyclethon, which raised $69,000.

Because many of the clients that CAF serves are young children who have yet to participate in sports, and adult amputees who are new to, or attempting to return to, athletic pursuits, the weekend also featured adaptive sports clinics for participants to try out.

On Oct. 21, CAF hosted an open water adaptive swim experience with USA Triathlon. CAF also hosted its first U.S. Association of Blind Athletes’ blind soccer activity. There were also adaptive tennis and pickleball clinics.

On Oct. 22, there were running and mobility clinics, an adaptive surf clinic, a wheelchair basketball clinic and a U.S. Association of Blind Athetes’ goalball clinic. Goalball is a mix between bowling and soccer, played with a ball that has bells inside. More than 150 athletes from across the country participated.

The highlight of the day was when 13-year-old Ethan Miller received a surprise Össur prosthetic running leg. At 11, Ethan was diagnosed with bone cancer, and after 17 rounds of chemo, he fractured his left femur while riding an electric bike and endured a below-knee amputation. With his new running leg he will be able to run, bike and play catch with his brothers.

On Oct. 23, adaptive athletes took part in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge at Bonita Cove, competing in a one-mile swim in Mission Bay, a 40-mile bike ride and 10-mile run. There was also the stationary bike event, outdoor yoga, a 5K fitness walk and more. To learn more about CAF programs, go to challengedathletes.org.


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