HSPers aiming high in sports

Posted - December 2019 in HSPRF News

Paralympics dream and a world champion

 

Hallie gives the thumbs up after competing

Hallie Smith: One Step Closer to Her Paralympics Dream

When Hallie Smith was rendered paralyzed by a rare genetic disorder five years ago, she began watching para sports and wondering if she could ever find her way to a Paralympic Games.

Smith was 21 when a deteriorating condition that had made walking difficult when she was a teenager, and then led to seizures that forced her to take a break from her studies at Smith College, finally left her paralyzed from the ribs down. She was eventually diagnosed with the rare genetic condition, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.

Last year, Smith won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and then began training again for this year’s World Championship, and the chance to qualify the PR1 women’s single for the 2020 Paralympics.

Friday, Smith made sure that her boat class would have an opportunity to race in Tokyo when she finished third in her semifinal in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria and accomplished her first goal, qualifying the boat class. She will race in the Sunday final, and not long after, she will set her sights on next year, towards the US para trials.

If she can win that, she will have achieved her dream of being a US Paralympian.

“I’m really excited,” Smith said. “My big goal coming here was to qualify my boat for the Tokyo Paralympics, and I did it. It’s kind of unbelievable to me.

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SOURCE: Row2K August 30, 2019

Hallie Smith: One Step Closer to Her Paralympics Dream

By Ed Moran, row2k.com

 


 

Connor Poggetto, World Champion

World champion disabled waterskier has HSP

 

Eight years ago, a case of frostbite changed the course of Connor Poggetto’s athletic career.

Poggetto, now 22, had thought that snow skiing would be his life. He had been skiing since he was six and was eager to see how far he could go in the sport.

He developed frostbite one day, however, which led to the decision that maybe a different type of skiing was in his future. Poggetto has hereditary spastic paraparesis, in which the brain is unable to figure out how to use muscles midway through his thigh and down. Since Poggetto couldn’t feel his leg, it was hard to tell that it was cold enough to get frostbite.

After that incident, he turned his attention to water skiing and last month, that decision proved once again to be a life-changing one, most recently during the IWWF World Disabled Championships July 22-28, where Poggetto set two pending world records (he already owns one world trick record) and was the only person on the USA Adaptive Water Ski and Wake Sports team to score in all three events.

In addition to his pending world records, Poggetto is the now the number one disabled water skier in the world after being named overall champion at the world championship.

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SOURCE: Elk Grove Citizen        

Water skier world disabled champion trains in Elk Grove

By Kerensa Uyeta-Buckley

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