PHOENIX — More than 340 athletes with disabilities from 12 different countries are making their way to Mesa, Arizona this week to compete in the 2022 Desert Challenge Games.
The games, presented by The Hartford, are set to take place from May 18-22 at various events across the Valley, including Mesa Community College. Among those competing in this year's events are 34 Team USA para-athletes, many of whom competed at the Tokyo Paralympic Games last year.
Among the Team USA members expected to compete at the 2022 games are US Paralympic Track & Field National Team member Sydney Barta, World record holder Justin Phongsavanh and David Brown, widely recognized as the "World's fastest blind man."
Some of the events fans can see at the games include archery, shooting, track and field and swimming. For a breakdown of the times for each event, visit the Desert Challenge Games website.
Admission into the event is free, so fans are encouraged to attend the various weekend events.
If you want to be more than a spectator, volunteers are still needed to support the events. Those interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at the games can check out the Arizona Disabled Sports website.
The city of Phoenix is home to five major professional sports league teams; The NFL's Arizona Cardinals, NBA's Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL's Arizona Coyotes.
The Cardinals have made the State Farm Stadium in Glendale their home turf and the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is home to both the Suns and the Mercury. The Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers also play at the Footprint. Phoenix has a soccer team with the USL's Phoenix Rising FC.
The Valley hosts multiple major sporting events on a yearly basis, including college football's Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl; the PGA Tour’s highest-attended event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open; NASCAR events each spring and fall; and Cactus League Spring Training.
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