Jackson Memorial Hospital Hosts JMH Olympics - NBC 6 South Florida

Jackson Memorial Hospital Hosts JMH Olympics

The games are wrapping up this week



    JMH Hosts Olympics at Rehab Hospital

    A unique version of the Olympics was held Monday at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital. The athletes: patients with spinal cord injuries. (Published Monday, Aug. 6, 2012)

    Jackson Memorial Hospital brought a unique version of the Olympics to South Florida.

    The power wheelchairs obstacle course, the 30-foot speed walk for patients who are relearning how to use their legs, timed push ups and chin ups. These are some of the competitive events at the JMH Olympics wrapping up this week.

    The games are taking place at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital, and the athletes are patients with spinal cord injuries.

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    Therapist Cathy Herring started this four years ago during the Beijing Olympics, and now again with the London Games.

    "I think it's given them a little thing to forget about everything that they're going through and that life still can be fun," she said.

    At the end of the week, first place winners get a small golden tropy and there are small plastic medals for bronze and silver.

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    Alister Watler, from the Cayman Islands, competed in the obstacle course for the power wheelchairs.

    "I had a car accident where I broke my neck, injured the spinal cord, and I'm paralyzed from the chest down," he said.

    He said he likes watching women's volleyball best.

    Meanwhile, Mary Vaccaro, from Akron, Ohio, said it was a good thing she wore her Adidas when competing in the chin-ups event.

    "I beat a couple of 20something males, so I'm very competetive, and I just had to beat their record and then my record too," she said.

    James Rivera, from Miami, competed in the timed pegs event. He is a former horse trainer, injured when a horse he was riding fell and rolled over on him.