Through sport, you learn how to be a part of something bigger than just yourself. You learn how to compete for something you believe in.
At the age of 25, I had a life-changing accident that resulted in me being confined to a wheelchair. Sport has always been an integral part of my life, so I searched for a sport to fill that void. At the age of 42, I was introduced to the sport of curling, and today, I am a proud Paralympian. I have been an athlete my entire life. I was fortunate that my parents got me involved in sports as a child, and loved everything that sports teach you - teamwork, hard work and dedication – the lessons necessary to maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle. I went on to letter in three different sports in high school and. earn a spot on the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team as a walk-on. Things changed in 1995 when I was involved in a car accident, which left me paralyzed. In the years following, I learned how much I loved to mentor and coach young people, so I earned my teaching certificate and have also coached high school boys’ basketball for the past twenty years. In addition to coaching, I wanted to resume being an athlete myself. I needed to find a sport that would feed the competitive spirit that has always been inside of me. After trying different wheelchair sports, including competing in the 2010 New York City Marathon, I was introduced to the sport of wheelchair curling in the summer of 2012. It was the sport I was born to pursue. Curling contains lines, circles and angles, just like the 7th grade geometry I used to teach. It is individual yet relies heavily on teamwork, and encompasses everything I love about sport. Today, I am a member of the US Wheelchair Curling Team and competed in the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Because of my accident, I’ve had to overcome many obstacles in my life to be successful. I’ve used my life lessons to become an accomplished public speaker where I share my story of overcoming life’s challenges, achieving my dreams on and off the ice and my journey to competing on the world’s stage, all with the goal of inspiring others to achieve their dreams in the face of adversity. Currently, I am working towards earning a spot on the 2022 US Paralympic Team. At the same time, I am pursuing my dream of starting a non-profit organization to promote this wonderful sport of wheelchair curling. This sport has changed my life in so many ways, so I want to inspire others to participate and open themselves up to a new world of possibilities.