Paralympic sit volleyball star is keynote speaker for DisAbility Sports Festival at CSUSB

     

Kari Miller, a member of the USA sit volleyball team that won the silver medal at the 2012 Paralympics in London, will be the keynote speaker at the 6th annual DisAbility Sports Festival at Cal State San Bernardino on Oct. 6.

DisAbilities Sports Fest Miller, Winkler and Moffett

Kari Miller (Paralympic sit volleyball team member and Army veteran), Scott Winkler (Paralympic thrower and Army veteran) and CSUSB professor and DisAbilities Sports Festival director Aaron Moffett at the 2008 Paralymic Games in Beijing, China. Miller will be the keynote speaker at the 6th Annual DisAbility Sports Festival Oct. 6 at CSUSB. Photo courtesy of Aaron Moffett.

Miller, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both her legs in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in 1999, is probably most recognizable from a commercial by CitiBank, which sponsors Olympic and Paralympic athletes through its “Every Step of the Way” program. The commercial aired during the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

She also was a member of Team USA’s silver medal-winning team at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijng. Going into the London games, Team USA was ranked second in the world after China, according to the World Organization for Disabled Volleyball.

Miller is no stranger to Cal State San Bernardino; veterans of past DisAbility Sports Festivals may remember her from 2010, when she helped coach sit volleyball to participants.

Online registration for the DisAbility Sports Festival is currently being accepted. Registration is free to participants, ages 8 months to 84 years old, of all abilities at the DisAbility Sports Festival website.

Organizers are expecting as many as 800 participants, including more than 100 disabled military veterans from throughout the country, competing in at least 20 different sports, including wheelchair and standing basketball, tennis, soccer, wall climbing, swimming and hand cycling.

Each sport and activity will be coached by an athlete with a disability, including current and past Paralympians and other elite-level coaches, which, organizers say, really is a display of all the participants’ abilities. Some of the Paralympians who will coach at the event include Jeff Fabry (archery and a gold medalist at the 2012 London Paralympic Games), Angela Madsen (rowing and a 2012 bronze medalist at the London games), Alma Rodriguez (wheelchair basketball), Mark Wellman (wall climbing), Anthony Lara (tennis and wheelchair tennis), Janice Walth (archery) and Rick Babbington (cycling coach).

The purpose of the festival is to increase the sports opportunities for athletes with disabilities and thereby increase their quality of life and health, says festival director Aaron Moffett, professor of kinesiology at Cal State San Bernardino.disability sports festival

Also featured will be more than 30 information booths from community programs and services that are available for people with disabilities and their families. Including volunteers, supporters, spectators and athletes, an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 will come to the university on Oct. 6 for the event.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Molina Healthcare are key sponsors of the event.

For more information about the festival, visit the DisAbility Sports Festival website or e-mail sportfes@csusb.edu, or contact Aaron Moffett at (909) 537-5352. For more information on Kari Miller, see the YouTube video, “Citi: Every Step of the Way – Meet Kari Miller.”

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.