Tagged with: athletes disability life wheelchair
My experience as a Paralympian has been one of the greatest adventures that I could have ever imagined. After several years of playing Quad Rugby and the love for my sport I realized that there was something greater than just club level play for me.
In 2000, I earned a spot on Team USA Rugby to represent my country in Sydney Australia and it was there that I helped my team win a gold medal. I guess you can say I was hooked from that moment on to keep competing at that level for another two Paralympic games.
During my career I have traveled not only all around the U.S. but around the world. Making new friends and seeing how other athletes live in their cultures has helped me to see the world in a different light. I know I have learned to deal with rough conditions when traveling and with lodging due to the fact that not all countries have an American with Disabilities law. This can at times be an issue when competing. Not only do you have to be physically strong but a mental toughness is a required to withstand the regimen of being a Paralympic athlete.
With the success I have achieved it has propelled me into the spot light of my town, state, country and world. This is something I really could have never imagined for myself in a hundred years. This is coming from a person who had shied from talking in front of a group of people much less talking in front of a news camera. Now I enjoy speaking to schools, radio stations, and anybody that is interested in my story, lol.
For the rest of my life I can proudly say that I am a Paralympic athlete with two gold medals and one bronze and will always be a part of Team USA. My life would not be the story it is today if not for my Paralympic experiences. Hi, I am Bryan Kirkland and I am a Paralympian for Life. Go Team USA!
Do you plan to watch Paralympics? Here are some live streams!