One Awesome Kid

I had the pleasure of meeting an awesome kid in Norfolk, Virginia on February 24, 2017 by the name of Austen. The recently injured young man was beyond excited to meet a Paralympic Athlete that he watched several videos and research as much as possible online. However, a few days before our arrival Austen was hospitalized for several tests and was devastated that he would not be able to attend the school function. At this moment, we were determined to make this visit happen, no matter the location. Thanks to the efforts of Ms. Erin, Austen’s teacher, family, and the hospital, we were able to catch up with Austen at Children’s Hospital in Norfolk. Having the opportunity to spend an hour with this high spirited young man changed my outlook on our ability to inspire as athletes. This young man wants to find local adaptive sports as soon as possible and become a competitor at the highest level there is [Paralympics]. These types of moments make competing for Team USA so great, as we are not only playing for ourselves or family members but we are playing for those that are inspired by the things that we have done. This family has been through so much but their spirits remain strong and filled with hope. I cannot wait to see the accomplishments that this kid has waiting for him in the future. Determination, passion, and attitude are just a couple of the characteristics that this young man has and it is those kinds of mental characteristics that makes champions. I am honored to have had the opportunity to meet Austen and his family and I look forward to future encounters with them.