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 began my search for the one sport that would fill the 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 early as I can remember, and I immediately loved everything that sports teach you. Through athletics, I learned that the qualities of teamwork, hard work and dedication were all lessons that were necessary in maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle. In high school, I lettered in three different sports, finishing my high school career as an All-New England soccer goalkeeper and an All-State basketball player. I am still the all-time leading scorer in boys’ basketball at my high school. My athletic abilities brought me to the University of Connecticut, where I earned a spot on the men’s basketball team as a walk-on from 1992-1994.
Things changed in 1995 when I was involved in a car accident, which left me paralyzed. In the years following the accident, I learned how much I loved to mentor and coach young people, so I went back to school to earn my teaching certificate and coached high school boys’ basketball for twenty years.
In addition to coaching, I wanted to resume being an athlete myself. I needed to find a sport that would allow me to feed the competitive spirit that has always been inside of me. After trying many different wheelchair sports, including racing in the 2010 New York City Marathon, I was introduced to the sport of wheelchair curling in the summer of 2012 and found the sport I was meant to pursue. Curling contains lines, circles and angles, just like the 7th grade geometry I used to teach. The sport is individual yet relies heavily on teamwork, and has everything that I love about sport. I progressed up the ranks and was chosen for the 2015 World Team. 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 have used my life lessons to become an accomplished inspirational speaker. 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 make good decisions in order to achieve their dreams.
Currently, I am working towards earning a spot on the US Paralympic Team that will compete in the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. At the same time, I travel the world and share my story with people of all ages and inspire them to make decisions in their life that will result in success moving forward. With the right mindset...anything can be overcome and all your life goals can be achieved.