Paralympic Athletes Showcase Their Abilities

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email

Members of the U.S. Paralympic Team showcased their abilities today while helping others understand what it's like to compete as a disabled athlete. It's called the Paralympic Experience.

About forty insurance brokers from all over the U.S. were in town representing The Hartford, an organization that sponsors Paralympic athletes and raises awareness of what individuals with disabilities are able to accomplish.

They played two games, wheelchair basketball and sit volleyball.

"It makes me feel like I take too much for granted," said participant John Watson.

"It's very difficult," said participant Lori Peterson.

It only takes a few seconds to notice Stephanie Wheelers abilities on the basketball court.

"They are pro athletes, they are that good at what they do, it's amazing to watch them," Watson said.

And to think about what they've overcome.

"I lost my leg at age 25, I never really had any doubts about what I could do as a person," said Paralympic cyclist Paul Martin.

Martin has been an Olympic cyclist since 2000; he's won a silver and a bronze, now he's going for gold.

"I do a lot of running and triathlons and a lot of people have trouble walking up the stairs at 5000 feet here in Colorado Springs, they're amazed that with only one leg you can run a marathon," He said.

Stephanie already has her gold medal, from Athens in 2004, but she's still training and doing what she loves.

"Basketball is my passion, so I always knew that somehow someway I’d be involved in the sport," Stephanie said.

She knew it even at age six when a car accident confined her to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

"The confidence that they bring forth, it's so encouraging that if anything like that were to happen to you, it gives you that optimistic spirit," Watson said.

Forty more brokers will be in town on Thursday for another Paralympic Experience.


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