Desert Challenge Games: Hundreds of athletes competing this weekend in Mesa

Hundreds of athletes will be in Mesa through May 30 for the Desert Challenge Games, and some of them have dreams of competing in the Paralympic Games this summer.

The Desert Challenge has a full weekend planned for more than 300 athletes and spectators.

"Today actually starts a full week of competition with the swim competition later this evening," said a spokesperson for the games. "Tomorrow, we have an air pistol and rifle competition, and Friday starts the bulk of our activities with track and field competition."

The track and field portion of the competition is a qualifier for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this August.

"I’ve been to two games already," said sprinter Erik Hightower. "So I am a two time Paralympian, and I’m trying to go for my third."

Erik Hightower is a 100 and 400 meter sprinter. He was born with spina bifida and was introduced to the sport at the age of 8.

"On a good day I can probably get up to about 21 mph in the chair," Hightower said.

His wife, Kym Crosby, is no stranger to the Paralympics either.

"I went to Rio in 2016 so that was my first game," Crosby said. "I’m working towards my second games right now."

Kym is visually impaired, so the track lines are extremely important to her.

"I am constantly looking down at the white lines and can see the contrast between the red track and the white lines," Crosby explained. "They really stick out for me."

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