The road to Rio

A lot of us may have watched the London Paralympics with renewed interest this year, and I know that many of us were wondering what sport Matthew could play, or for which category would he be eligible.

Well the event itself wasn’t lost on Matt, and I asked him what sport he would think about for Rio. It’s sailing. It’s a far cry from my suggestion of Boccia, but he says sailing suits his love of the outdoors and because it’s tactical, it would challenge him. He can’t see himself, he says, doing laps of the pool even if he could wiggle the distance.

So we’re on the road to Rio. I asked him whether he is serious about it, and he says yes. He has two reasons, but I’ll leave them for the documentary once he’s won a medal or two.

In the meantime, I found this fantastic story about a Canadian Boccia player, Joshua Vander Vies, who while not a quadruple amputee, was born with similar length stumps. Fortunately for us, he was bold enough to tell his story by video, and the story of his day has provided a great deal of inspiration to us, and Matthew, who had actually asked the question about how he was going to get dressed. As you’ll see from the video, it’s not to hard achieve things with some planning and more than a little determination.

I asked Matthew the other day about where we would all be if people hadn’t been willing to share their stories, and he agreed that we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are now. People like Nick Vujicic, Travis Mills, Taylor Morris, Pedro Pimenta, and Joshua…amazing, humble, and generous.

So telling his story in a way that will help others later will be something Matthew says he wants to do. In the meantime, he has a few plans, and Rio is one of them. If it doesn’t happen, we will probably all have a great journey in watching him try and he’ll succeed in motivating a few of us along the way.

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