Unable to compete in my chair

Delta flight: June 03, 2023 – Originated in Charlotte (CLT), connection in Detroit (DTW), destination Portland (PDX) to attend the 2023 National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

I wasn’t notified of the damage until I got to Portland. Two agents came directly to me. I thought that they were coming to help me off the plane, but the way their faces looked, it just seemed like something was wrong. And they asked me directly, “Are you Mrs. Mazyck?’ And I said, “Yes, I’m Ms. Mazyck.” And the guy proceeded to tell me that your [sports] chair got damaged. And I said immediately, “How damaged?” And he said, “We have photos.”

And once I looked at the photos, I immediately knew it was destroyed, immediately, and I just kept my cool. And at that moment, they escorted me to the downstairs area baggage claim where I can actually do an incident report. So he gave me my claim number and told me that someone would be contacting me very shortly, and they did. And they were unable to get me a loaner chair at the time. And it was no possible way with that quick of a turnaround because I was competing the next day.

My coach, during the Expo, was running around looking for a chair for me, and she did find someone’s chair for me to compete in, but it wasn’t my chair – so I competed to the best of my ability. My performance was affected because I wasn’t competing in my own chair.

Especially in the game of pickle ball, I’m just going to say, because it was our first time. I only played it one time, but when I played it that one time, I was in my chair and I felt like I had a better grasp on it because you are one with your chair. I was just so frustrated. I was so frustrated.

I said to myself, since I’m playing two team sports, let me take my own chair. I hate to borrow another individual’s chair because they may need it, and it’s a struggle. So I thought let me bring my own that I practice in … basketball and all that. And look what happened. I’m like, oh my gosh.

I did get fitted at the Wheelchair Games for a new chair, and my coach out of the Augusta VA, the rec therapist, has been helping me with this claim and speaking back and forth to the individuals.

I don’t know how to move forward with training, or playing sports. My coach actually texted me and asked was I interested in going to a basketball camp? I haven’t even answered her back yet, because I’m like, okay, so what I’m going to play in if I do decide to go?

That damage they did – it feels like someone took a chainsaw and sawed all parts of it. I’m like, how in the world?

I did not bring it home with me. It was no need. It was to the point where it was no need for me to bring home a damaged chair and lug that around.

The only thing I took from it were my straps around my waist and my foot strap.