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The Michigan Victory Games

Picture of entire Wave Team attending the Victory Games

Selfie of Jeffrey VanDykeWritten by Jeffrey Vandyke, Graphics Design Specialist DNWM

Imagine a world where you feel like you never quite fit in, where you constantly feel judged and feel like an outsider because your body physically doesn’t match how you feel about yourself mentally. This was how I felt about myself or at least it was before I began participating in the Michigan Victory Games as a member of the Muskegon Waves.

Then I started attending the Victory Games three years ago, I was a bit shy and felt anxious in new environments and around strangers, but the Victory Games slowly helped me not only overcome this, but begin to thrive far beyond my wildest dreams. By attending the Games I began to learn not only what I could do athletically, but more importantly personally.

See, The Michigan Victory Games is so much more than about just playing sports. It gives athletes a safe place to try new things, a place to socialize, a place to compete and a place to grow outside of sports. It truly enriches lives and promotes change for those living with differences. The Victory Games presents athletes with a can-do environment where you’re not only presented with an opportunity to participate in various sports, but encouraged to try regardless of personal ability level. The events are Track & Field, Bocce, Bowling, Weightlifting, Table Tennis, Swimming, Biking, Slalom course, and a few others, along with a dance at the very end of the Games.

Overall, I know to some… this all may not seem like a big deal, but for me the experience as a Muskegon Waves athlete has been life-changing as I’ve  not only have become more confident in myself as an athlete, but more importantly as a person. It is my hope to continue to attend the Games for as long as I can as not only an athlete, but most of all as an example… I want those around me to know that if I can do this, so can you!

If you would like to learn more about the Victory Games or how you can get involved or participate, you can email me at jeffreyv@disabilitynetworkwm.org or call me directly at 231-332-4043.