GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Keith Wanta has spinal muscle atrophy type three.
His condition affects the nerves that control muscle movement, but today was about what he is able to do.
“It’s a lifetime opportunity, I’ve never tried this thing before so,” said Wanta.
Members of the USA Curling Team were in Green Bay Monday as part of the U.S. Wheelchair Curling Program.
The group received funding from the VA to hold Monday’s clinic open to anyone in the community with a disability.
“People of all abilities can compete together on the same field of play,” U.S. National Wheelchair Curling Outreach & Development Program Director Marc DePerno said. “It’s just a quality of life, a fun social sport, just happy to educate those that have this opportunity to get involved in a unique sport.”
Whether you’re in a wheel chair or on two feet USA’s team coach says there’s a lot of strategy that goes into curling.
“Mental part of it, it’s a lot like golf really,” USA Curling Coach Steve Brown said. “You’ve got the risk reward kind of shots all the time”
Wanta understands some of that strategy after playing for just the first time this morning.
“Depending on what side of the ice you’re on, you need that extra momentum that extra speed to actually hit the house,” said Wanta.
Showing that we can all learn to play even if it takes a different technique.
“And that’s why I like to use the phrase newly abled, not disabled,” said Tomah VA’s Robert Hilliard.