Our fascination towards pushing our body to the edge and seeing where it can go has never ceased. We look up to people who have made it further than us, and who have gone through challenges hard to imagine. In the world of cerebral palsy, some of these people have reached very high, making it to the Olympics. Here’s a look at Olympic athletes with cerebral palsy and their stories. This is an even higher incentive to keep us motivated and inspired every day.
Tokyo paralympics…Did you know?
You might not know this but…for the Tokyo paralympics 2021 about 4400 Paralympians participated from nearly 160 countries. From archery to wheelchair tennis, people could compete in 22 sports, with two new sports this year, badminton and taekwondo. Some amazing snaps were shown on CNN from this years’ Paralympics.
And the women’s magazine Glamour shared an inspiring article on the women to watch in the 2021 Paralympics, including Jessica Long and Oksana Masters. However, on the other side, there is one athlete with cerebral palsy who quit after winning a medal in 2012, feeling hardened by the competitions.
The Paralympics games first began in 1960 with the Rome Paralympics. However, the origins of these games to back to Sir Ludqig Guttman who held games for world war II veterans who suffered injuries. Some years later the Netherlands joined and then the rest in international history. The athletes compete in six separate groups – amputee, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, visual impairment and intellectual disability.
Olympic athletes with cerebral palsy in Tokyo 2021
The 2021 Paralympic Games took place in Tokyo, Japan from Tuesday, August 24 to Sunday, September 5. For the first time in history, the games were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1984 athletes with cerebral palsy have competed in the Olympics and are continuing to do so and prove that even in the face of adversity there is a silver lining.
We have talked about Olivia in one of our previous articles, we admire her and think she is a great role model for people around the world with cerebral palsy. She participated in the 100m, 400m, 1,500m, and long jump. She mentioned in a recent Tweet that she is proud to have cerebral palsy as it made her who she is today.
Catarina is a track and field athlete from Livingston, NJ. She is classified as T38 and competes in the 100m, 400m, 1,500m, and long jump. Catarina was a premature baby and that is how she got cerebral palsy, however this never stopped her. Besides being a Paralympian, she like to play soccer, swim, rock climb, read and play the violin. You can follow her journey and watch Catarina’s videos on her Instagram, where she regularly posts content.
Cody Jung is a cyclist from Corvallis, Oregon who raced in the 20-mile and 55-mile road race. When he was as young as 1 year old he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Everyone told him he would never be able to practice any sports. But his determination got him to where he is today, pushing forward. You can follow him and his journey on his Instagram channel here.
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