CHICAGO – BP announced today that it will serve as a leading corporate sponsor of this week’s Valor Games Midwest, the region’s only competition that invites more than 200 wounded, ill or injured veterans and active-duty service members to challenge and support each other.
"BP has long supported our veterans and active-duty service members," said Clive Christison, vice president of BP’s Chicago-based supply and trading organization. “We are honored to serve as a gold-level sponsor of the Valor Games and to recognize these athletes for their service and sacrifices, while continuing to demonstrate our commitment to para-athletes and the Chicago region."
The games, which World Sport Chicago is presenting in partnership with the Chicago Park District, US Paralympics and the US Department of Veterans Affairs, will run from Aug. 20-22 at area venues including Soldier Field and the United Center.
The three-day event also features an opening-day Veterans’ Resource Expo at Soldier Field to connect military veterans, active-duty service members and their families with local educational, social services and employment networks. An estimated 500 local veterans and active-duty service members are expected to attend the Expo.
In addition, BP is partnering with World Sport Chicago to create a “Wall of Thanks” – made up of handwritten thank you notes and social media posts – that will be displayed each day of the Valor Games Midwest. Supporters can send messages of thanks to those who have served using the #WallOfThanks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Valor Games Midwest is BP’s latest sponsorship of programs for veterans and Paralympic athletes. BP also is an associate sponsor of the 2014 Warrior Games, being held in Colorado Springs, Colo., from Sept. 28–Oct. 4, a Paralympic-style competition for wounded, ill or injured veterans and active-duty service members.
BP America’s sponsorship of the US Olympic Committee and Team USA as its official energy partner extends through 2016.
BP sponsored Army veteran and Paralympic alpine skiing silver medalist Heath Calhoun, who competed at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi earlier this year. He will deliver the keynote address at Valor Games Midwest’s opening ceremony and will participate in awards ceremonies on the first day of competition.
BP also works with Melissa Stockwell, an Army veteran, Rio Paralympic triathlon hopeful and 2008 Paralympian in swimming, and her Chicago-based paratriathlon club Dare2tri. Stockwell is training to earn a spot on the US Paralympic triathlon squad when that sport makes its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016. Stockwell will participate in the awards ceremonies on the second day of competition.
On the final day of competition, Navy veteran and Paralympian athlete Brad Snyder, will participate in the awards ceremonies and will deliver a keynote address at the closing ceremony. Snyder, who will also appear on BP’s behalf, is a multiple Paralympic medalist, claiming two gold medals and one silver medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. He is training to defend his titles and again represent Team USA in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
BP America and its local BP-branded fuel retailers have been building awareness of Paralympic sports in the US through grassroots support of Paralympic Sport Clubs. Since 2011, BP-branded retailers in 13 states have donated more than $700,000 to their local Paralympic Sport Clubs.
In 2013, the USOC recognized BP’s commitment to US Paralympics with its Paralympic Amazing Impact Award, an honor given annually to organizations that raise awareness and support for the U.S. Paralympic Movement.
Scott Dean, BP America Press Office, (630) 420-4990, email@example.com
Over the past five years, BP has invested nearly $50 billion in the US – more than any other energy company. BP is a leading producer of oil and gas and provides enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Employing approximately 20,000 people in all 50 states, BP supports more than 260,000 jobs total through all of its business activities. For more information, go to www.bp.com/us.
World Sport Chicago (WSC) is an Illinois nonprofit working to enhance the lives of Chicago’s residents through active participation in sport. The organization focuses on increasing the availability and access of athletic programming for under-served communities. WSC serves as the legacy of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is proud to be designated by the United States Olympic Committee as one of seven national Community Olympic Development Program partners and the co-founder of the Chicago Paralympic Development Program. Recognizing that important values underlie athletics, WSC supports programming in value-based athletics, coach training and establishing new sports programs. Patrick G. Ryan is chairman of the board, William Scherr, an Olympic medalist in wrestling, serves as president; and Scott Myers serves as executive director. For more information, visit www.worldsportchicago.org