On April 18th in San Diego, Jim MacLaren, who passed away in 2010, will become the first challenged athlete inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame. John MacLaren came on to chat about his brother and how Jimmy’s legacy will live on forever through The Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Meredith Kessler has completed an amazing 46 Ironman events and won four Ironman titles. Even as a teenager she liked nothing better than to go out for a ten mile run on her own, or swim countless laps in the pool. Her first ever triathlon, believe it or not, was an Ironman. Meredith came on with us a few days after helping out at a Challenged Athletes Foundation event, www.challengedathletes.org, at VeloSF that raised over $55,000 for athletes in need.
Rudy Garcia-Tolson has already won two Paralympic Gold Medals for the 200 IM, one in Athens and one in Beijing. Two weeks ago he qualified to go to London to try and get Gold Medal number three in the pool….and on July 30th he also earned a spot on the Paralympic Track Team. Garcia Tolson became one of the few Paralympians in history to qualify in two sports when he won the 200 on the track in Indianapolis.
Single above knee amputee Sarah Reinertsen – Ironman finisher, author, ESPY Award Winner, CAF spokesperson, Amazing Race Participant and Motivational speaker – came on to chat about her career and her plans to complete the New York Triple this summer and fall: The New York City Triathlon, Ironman New York and the New York City Marathon.
Shelly Shepherd had six children of her own at the time she and her husband welcomed a young Vietnamese child missing both legs below the knee into their home in Missouri. What motivates a mother to take in a disabled child and raise her as her own? How special has it been for now 8 year old Haven to become part of an amazing family? The story of Haven Shepherd is unbelievable.
Top surfer Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack back in 2003. Since then, she has gotten back into the ocean and now travels the world as a professional surfer. Soul Surfer, the movie on her life, will premiere as a fundraiser for The Challenged Athletes Foundation on Saturday March 26 at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, and Bethany will be in attendance. We chatted with Bethany about coming back from tragedy and making the most out of every day. The tickets cost $10 with 100% of the proceeds going to CAF. To buy yours, go to http://soulsurfer.kintera.org or call 858-210-3510.
The fact that Anthony Smith is alive is a miracle. The fact that he swims, rides a bike and finished a 5K on Saturday is not to be believed. While in Iraq in 2004 he took a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade that went through his body and then exploded. He flat lined three times, was declared dead on the battlefield, ended up in a coma for 62 days and his serious injuries are way too numerous to list. This interview goes immediately up on our list of instant classics.
For the first seven years of her life she never was allowed outside the walls of the Chinese orphanage she had been abandoned at. Her leg was burned off above the knee before she turned one. When she was adopted and came to the United States, she was seven years old and weighed all of 22 pounds. Scout Bassett is now a runner, triathlete and role model. Hers is the ultimate story of perseverance.