Adapting With Alex Garrett

Adapt With Alex!

Tag: hockey

The Viscardi Center is Synonymous With Greatness

It’s only fitting that a little school and center on Long Island produces greatness . Fact is the Viscardi Center was BUILT with greatness and on a foundation of greatness.

If you know anything about Dr. Henry Viscardi, you would know how great a man he was. He , himself, overcame having limbs that were underdeveloped requiring prosthetic legs. His life experience inspired him to help others and provide opportunities for those returning war veterans who became disabled during combat in World War II! That center, Human Resources, grew and added The Henry Viscardi School for kids with disabilities .

I’m very humbled to say I became a graduate of HVS in 2009. I had gone to school there from K-12 ! A large part of my current day motivation is influenced by seeing friends in the disabled community and HVS community adapt and thrive! Stories from this community can help others ease into adaptation for their current day situations, I know it!

What also makes HVS so great is that our community welcomes greatness! I can discuss so many different ways the Viscardi Center community welcomes greatness , but to be topical I’d like to focus on the Islanders partnership. As you may know , the Islanders are about to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the semi-finals!

Since I can remember , the current New York Islanders have played hockey with the Viscardi kids year in and year out at HVS. The catch was that these tall hockey players would become wheelchair-bound and be on the level with fast kids in power wheelchairs and regular wheelchairs. The Islanders humbled themselves because they wanted to experience the incredible spirit HVS students have! (https://www.viscardicenter.org/ny-islanders-play-hockey-at-hvs/)

Via Sam Tavarez Productions on YouTube

The Islanders have also made available legends such as Bobby Nystrom and Clark Gillies to join our annual gala which raises funds for the Viscardi Center and Viscardi School ! For a tough group of guys, this kind of outreach show how much of a heart these hockey guys can have for the community and I am here for it!

The Viscardi Center on YouTube

When you cheer them on against Tampa this series , remember that these guys do it for the community and that community, I’m proud to say, includes that little but GREAT place in Albertson known as the Henry Viscardi Center !

James Dolan and Wollman Rink , A Match Made in Heaven

If you hadn’t seen it, Wollman Rink in New York City has had to be saved by the Central Park ice skating community.

How did we get here? When the de Blasio administration made the decision to cut contracts with all Trump organization institutions in New York City, they left Wollman rink staff, families, and kids in a state of panic that the very rink Trump saved could be taken away from out right from under their skates

Personally, not one skater on that ice should be held responsible for the insurrection of the Capitol on January 6th. Yet, that is what Mayor de Blasio is doing , and it shows his citizenry does not come first for him.

After a Change.org petition saved Wollman’s shutdown for just a few more weeks, there is a lot more work to be done!

New York City Parks Dept. Is holding bidding for a new owner to operate Wollman Rink, which by the way not just does winter skating but they do have outdoor activities for the community as well.

The one businessman I can see truly saving Wollman Rink is Rangers and Knicks owner James Dolan. The Rangers and Wollman are such a natural fit considering the rink and hockey ties. Just a few years ago, the Rangers held an outdoor practice at Wollman Rink and Garden of Dreams has often hosted galas .

If Dolan were to come along and save the rink, he really would be doing the Central Park ice skating community a service and the city should encourage it!

Fact of the matter is, I didn’t see one person on that rink really care about the Trump Organization name on the boards, on the concourse or anywhere, they just wanted to skate!

If the city ends up offering the operations but doesn’t encourage an actual buyer, then lives will be upended and I thought the Mayor of the City of New York is supposed to protect the citizenry, not tear it down!

I expanded on this in my latest Podcast on Spreaker !

In An Olympics-Less Year, Athletes Can Still Get The Gold

For the first time ever, the decision as most know by now was made to postpone the Summer Olympics in Tokyo until 2021.

As historic as that is dating back to Grecian times, there is still gold to be won by athletes during this trying time. If not for a physical gold medal this year, the gold of staying safe is up for grabs.

The four major leagues can enforce all they want, but it truly is up to the athlete to stay in bubble mode, or to not violate baseball policies of not going into public spaces. I got inspired to talk about this after reports surfaced the Miami Marlins are under investigation whether or not even just a couple of the team ended up out of the bubble-but-not-really-bubble each franchise are supposedly in. It is frustrating to read that players making money, financially obligated in and of itself to stay safe and those around them safe, could really decide to not stay safe amidst a pandemic.

Staying on team premises during competition is nothing new to me. Firstly, as an athlete from age 5–21, running around the Mitchel Field on one leg, I wanted to make sure I got the SLEEP and ENERGY to win! More importantly, athletes competing in the formerly-known, “Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged” (now called Nassau County Victory Challenge), staying in a bubble for kids with disabilities is paramount. This bubble is the dormitories of Hofstra University. Every first weekend of June, the campus graciously allows athletes and volunteers to stay right near Mitchel Field for easy commute! Furthermore, NICE buses on Long Island would transport us all to either Mitchel Field or Nassau Community College, the site of competition which includes wheelchair basketball!

Kids from across New York City, Long Island and yes even from out of state, compete for gold whether it be via wheelchair racing, wheelchair basketball , or running with a walker or crutches! They not only compete, the kids that compete take measures (helped by amazing parenting) to be safe and have fun while competing! These kids have nothing to gain monetarily but through the excitement of participating in a team sport and enjoying the able-bodied kids that cheer on our athletes year in and year out!

Which begs the question, can athletes that feel they can do whatever they want learn from even just one of our athletes that have competed for the love of competition and yes, in fact, won gold? I hope so!

I would love to see the collective athlete one by one say ‘I will stay safe for my team, my family and I’. For our disabled community, staying inside to rest up and to be safe pre-competition inside a must. That is how so many kids can win gold, staying inside MEANT BEING ON TRACK TO WIN GOLD.

That would be the ultimate gold for the leagues if their players only followed the love of the game and their health in 2020.