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14.05.2018 14:59
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If the Olympics captivated you with inspiring stories last month in Rio de Janeiro -- such as runners Abbey DAgostino and Nikki Hamblin falling and helping each other up to complete the womens 5,000 meters -- prepare for many more awesome, inspiring athletes this month at the Paralympics. These athletes picked themselves up from far worse falls yet became great examples to everyone: just keep going.Consider five-time Paralympic medalist Josh George, who will compete in an astounding five events in Rio, his fourth Games. George fell out of a 12-story window when he was 4 years old. While he punctured his lungs and was paralyzed from his mid-chest down, he survived the 120-foot fall, perhaps an indication of his physical and mental strength. I stuck the landing, he said with a laugh.I landed straight up and down on my feet in these short, little bushes next to the building, Thats what really saved me, George added. The combination of landing on my feet and in those bushes and the fact that when youre 4, your bones still arent fully formed so they still have a little give to them. They absorbed enough for me to survive.George, 32, has a great sense of humor and outlook on life, along with a love of sports. Despite needing a wheelchair to get around, he grew up playing basketball and tennis, swimming, racing track and more. His parents made sure that he used sports to continue moving forward.I give my parents all the credit in the world, he said. They could not have handled the situation any better. They were amazing. They took it all in stride. They never looked at me as disabled. I was just as able as anybody else in their eyes, and thats how they treated me. I just had to use the wheelchair instead of walking.The athletic activity turned out to be more than just fun and games for George.Sports created seeds of creative problem solving, he said, to be able to find opportunities to maximize my potential. And it carried over in life. Once you learn how to recognize opportunities and once you learn how to utilize different tools to accomplish your goals, it gives you confidence in your ability to approach problems in your future and know youll be able to figure out a solution.After playing wheelchair basketball at the University of Illinois, George has concentrated on track, an endeavor in which he has won five Paralympic medals, including gold in the 100 meters and silver in the 800 at the 2008 Beijing Games. In Rio, where the festivities start with Wednesdays opening ceremony, he will compete in the 400, 800, 1,500, 5,000 and marathon wheelchair races.Im going to have my hands full, he said.His hands also will be on the improving carbon-fiber wheelchairs that he says help racers put their power into forward momentum. It doesnt necessarily make you faster, but it makes you more efficient, he said.That efficiency helps especially over longer distances, such as the marathon. Wheelchair racers complete marathons considerably faster than runners -- Georges personal best is 1 hour, 22 minutes, 55 seconds -- though uphill portions can be more grueling since the racers are relying on nothing but arm strength. Going downhill is much faster, with some reaching speeds of 40 mph, but that also leads to potential crashes.Its exciting, George said, but sometimes you end up with your stomach in your throat.It all makes the race as compelling as the regular marathon, and perhaps more so. It is like watching the combination of a running and cycling race.Wheelchair racing is growing in attention and popularity. George says that when people see him arrive in an airport with his wheelchair now, they will ask him whether he will be racing in the city marathon. He usually is, having won eight marathons in Chicago, Los Angeles, London and the Twin Cities.George also writes -- he studied journalism at Illinois -- and you can follow his experiences in Rio at joshgeorgeracing.com. He also is running a campaign called Maximize Your Potential that urges everyone to achieve their highest goals.They can see that is possible in the Paralympics, which George hopes people will watch so they can witness how great the athleticism is -- especially in the United States.We have an interesting relationship with disability, George said of Americans. Its very much a medical model where we think its people who are broken or injured or old. And thats far from the case. We all have a different disability, but were not really overcoming that disability. The overcoming part has come and gone. The struggle has come and gone. We are all out there now to maximize our abilities as an athlete and compete for a gold medal in the same sense the Olympians are.Paralympians have picked themselves up. And now they are providing the same exciting thrills and inspiration as Olympians. Tyler Johnson Stanley Cup Jersey . The 43-year-old closer, in his 19th and final big league season, has said hed like to play the outfield. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says hes thinking about allowing Rivera to do it this weekend, when the Yankees finish their season with a three-game series at the Houston Astros. Authentic Lightning Jerseys . The Dutchmans tenure got off to a poor start when referee Guido Winkmann awarded a penalty within two minutes for Niklas Starks clumsy challenge on Alexandru Maxim. http://www.cheaplightningjerseys.us/andrej-sustr-stanley-cup-jersey/ .com) - Christian Ponder will get another chance to prove himself for the Minnesota Vikings, with head coach Leslie Frazier announcing Wednesday that the struggling quarterback will start this weekends game against the Green Bay Packers. Anton Stralman Stanley Cup Jersey . Coach Tom Thibodeau says the former MVP will probably start travelling with the team in the next few weeks. Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee at Portland in November and was ruled out for the remainder of the season by the Bulls. Lightning Stanley Cup Jerseys . After taking two big hits this week -- losing at home and dropping back-to-back games for the first time all season -- Indiana struck back by playing its most complete game of the year. Faf du Plessis has already succeeded in one of Test captaincies toughest tasks and led South Africa to a series win in Australia, but his proper job begins now. Confirmed as South Africas permanent Test captain ahead of a three-match home series against Sri Lanka, du Plessis spoke to the media at Newlands about the resources at his disposal for this assignment. The expectation is that this will be a much lower-profile series than Australia. How will you get the team up for their only home matches this summer? I prepare the team and myself in exactly the same way. There is no big series and no small series. People expect us to beat Sri Lanka, but thats not certain. They have played really good cricket over time. They have also lost some key players, which is something we will make sure we get into. But they are a quality cricket team, theyve got exceptional spin bowlers. Hopefully the ball wont turn too much.Theres a returning face in your pace pack - Wayne Parnell. What do you think he will add? Parnell deserves it. His last Test match was a good Test match and then he got injured. He has been plagued by injuries. Its good to see his hard work has paid off. He brings variety: left-arm seamer who can bowl quick. Its really important that he can bat as well. The more options that you have in a team when you have a longer batting line-up, the better. You saw in Australia now with someone like Keshav Maharaj, a spinner that can bat, how much of a difference it actually makes when your top order doesnt do their jobs on the day.Home fans are getting used to seeing a new-look pace attack. Last summer you were without Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander. This time theres no Morne Morkel. Is there enough firepower on the field? We are lucky that there are guys who are waiting. Morne is a fantastic Test bowler, you dont have to say anything about him. With injury, it has been difficult for him to get back in. Kyle Abbott has done a fantastic job, but Morne is in the wings and gives us an option if we want to play four seamers. In Port Elizabeth, the wicket doesnt suit that, so we will maybe look at it towards the latter end of the series. But even after that, we need to make sure there are two or three guys who are ready.Youve also got a new top-order batsmaan in Theunis de Bruyn.dddddddddddd. What do you think he will gain from this series? Its sad on Rilee Rossouws behalf because he has been waiting for his turn for a while now and deserves a chance, but his foot has not completely healed yet. Theunis comes in as the next batter after Rilee and he has done really well for the South African A side. Hes got the X-factor, which is something that will fit in nicely. He is also young leader at the Knights, so to come into an environment where he can learn from great leaders means that even if he doesnt play a game, he will go back to the Knights a stronger leader.Since taking over as captain, youve dropped down to No.5. Is that where you are happy batting? I am happy wherever the coach puts me. I got a few chirps in Australia, saying I was hiding at No.5, but for me, its about getting the best out of JP Duminy. The way that JP is looking, he looks like the JP we know he can be. Ive got the captaincy so I dont need more extra responsibility but its nice for JP. He has that responsibility and he feels like he needs to go out there and score big hundreds for the team. At No.7, you bat with the tail and you tonk a few and you can get a good ball and thats why Quinton de Kock is perfect for that role. He takes the game away from the opposition. I like that extra responsibility on JP.Although you won the Australia series, only Quinton de Kock found real consistency among the batsmen. Is that a concern and what do you expect from the rest? My thing is to make sure the guy who are in form take full responsibility to score runs. Its going to happen that youre going to get out of form and you are going to get good balls, but guys who are batting well at any point in time have to make sure that they score the big runs for the team. If someone like Hashim Amla had a series where he didnt score the runs that he wanted to, for me is not as important as making sure Quinton who was in form cashed in. Temba Bavuma was also consistent. Through the series, we didnt possibly didnt score as many runs as we wanted to but every single Test there was a hundred and that wins you games of cricket. 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