Recently, DASA athlete Christian Lewin was given the opportunity to gain valuable experience competing at the Paralympic Trials for Track & Field. Christian competed alongside some of the best racers in the country – a few of whom will be representing Team USA at the Paralympic Games in Rio. Below is Christian’s account of this great opportunity and experience…
“My experience at the 2016 Paralympic trials held in Charlotte N.C. was pretty awesome. I had spent the spring and summer preparing for various meets and was surprised and privileged to be invited to the trials competition. My family and I drove from St. Louis to Charlotte. We made several site seeing stops which helped keep my mind off of the upcoming meet. The importance of the trials hit home when we pulled up to the stadium for registration. There were festive Paralympic signs and banners everywhere. I got checked in, bought my Paralympic gear and headed to the track for warm ups and equipment check in. During warm ups my dad was with me on the track. At one point, Austin Pruitt, a fellow T34, walked over and visited with my dad and I. He gave us some advice and wished me luck. I had the opportunity to meet Austin Pruitt earlier this year at the Fast Cow meet in Indianapolis. He is incredibly polite and kind. After warm ups I checked my equipment into storage and headed for the hotel to rest up.
I competed in two races at trials. My first race was the 800m. In my heat were Austin Pruitt and Stephen Koziel. I was really excited to be on the track with these two Paralympic hopefuls. My goal was to try to keep up with these two! My second race was the 100m. Joining Austin, Stephen and myself in this race was T33 John Roberts. Having had one race under my belt I was fairly confident that I would do well. Austin and Stephen took off and John and I were neck and neck. It was very exciting.
Overall the experience was thrilling. I met some amazing athletes and coaches. I look forward to building relationships with my fellow athletes and share many more race experiences with them.”
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Christian, and we could not be any prouder to be a part of your journey and goal to be a Paralympic star! Keep up the hard work!!