By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

There were oohs and aah’s in the gym at Los Angeles High recently as many looked on at the air rifle portion of the Angel City Games. Dr. Christina Kimm looked on while sitting in her wheel chair waiting for her target sheet to be returned to her. When it arrived from some thirty meters away her and Tim Boumgarten (rifle overseer) reviewed it.  

“Hey that’s really good” said Boumgarten. “That is really something.” Kimm had ‘stole the show’ in the event in a big-time way. Her thirty pellets fired twenty-nine had hit the all or part of the bullseye.   

“I can’t believe I did that good,” said Kimm. “I haven’t event practiced,” she said excitedly.  

Kimm is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota. When she was young there was a rifle in the back yard of the family home. Sometimes her and her two brothers would put cans, bottles, jars or whatever they could fine on a rock in the back yard and practice shooting. “After awhile I guess I became good at it. It was just something for fun.”  

She is a professor in Divisional of Special Education and counseling  at Cal State LA. She has authored several book on autism and those with disabilities. 

Today she was just one of some 300 or so athletes participating in the Seventh Annual Angel City Games- Presented by The Hartford. It is the premier adaptive sporting event in the Western United States The event are for those who have a physical disability or movement impairment for those of any age.   

Boumgarten in a volunteer in charge Rifle and some water sports. He retired after working 38 years for Arizona Game and Fish as Watercraft coordinator.   

“We’d like to get more veteran involved in these games,” said Boumgarten. “We feel this could help them out a lot because many of them still love to compete,” added the former member of the USAF. 

 Samuel Nehemiah came looking to play wheelchair basketball. Instead he found a football game.   

“I saw an opportunity to compete and I took it,” said Nehemiah. They need ed someone for football and I got a spot and had a great time. 

Nehemiah was joined by his wife Courtney and son Samuel who cheered him on. There are part of a great support system. He has play in wheelchair games in Sacramento, Vegas and Toronto. He has high competitive juices.   

“I could never do this in my country,” said the native of Nigeria. When you have a disability, they look at you differently there. Today I have an overwhelming feeling I feel great, when I do this I don’t feel alone. There are people just like me doing the same thing,” he said with a smile.”  

 Events include are 16 sports. Goalball Rowing Bocci, Judo, Amputee Soccer, Sitting volleyball. Golf, Wheelchair Tennis and Archery just to name a few.  

The goal is to celebrate the talents and strengths of adaptive athletes, also create a community of sports and understanding around sports. It brings people together and helps change the mind -set of those who have had their lives altered in a different way. 

Danny Gomez had an active lifestyle and an energetic 2016 he had a biking accident that changed all that and put a damper on him as he ended up in a wheelchair.  

“When you become paralyzed or have an accident you feel completely alone,” said Gomez. “You don’t have a sense of community, then you never want to do anything.” 

 Gomez had this attitude until he found Angel City Sports by attending an event. The organizations provides free clinics, equipment and organized competitive games. 

“When I found Angel City Sports and came to my first Clinic I saw other people in wheel chairs and other people with disabilities and it put me at ease.”  

ADD ANGEL CITY: A monumental thanks goes out to Carmencita Solidum a special person of LA High School who gives her time to this event and reached out to many to let them know of its happening. There is no greater venue to have it than Los Angeles high it is the oldest high school in the City haven opened in 1873. Some of it famous Alumni include Mel Torme, Dustin Hoffman (actor) Dahna Hall (educator) Clyde Robinson, George Takei (actor) Felicia Richard (educator) Bessie Love (actress) and Ray Bradbury (Author).