100 Days Out

Submitted by Chris Murphy on Fri, 06/11/2021
The countdown begins - less than 100 days until I compete at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Right now is an exciting time. I am currently less than 100 days out from hopefully competing at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. After a strange year for all of us and the postponement of the Games, it feels like the next three months will fly by. I completed my qualifying duties for the Games at the 2019 Para Cycling Track World Championships. The qualifying criteria cites a percentage of the team total as an allotment for track athletes. Although I did well enough to put myself in a good position for selection, I won’t know if my spot is secured until the team is named at the end of June. Until then, I train 100% as if I’m going with the intent to win medals.

This week started off on an exciting note, as well. Toyota announcing an unprecedented support opportunity for Paralympic hopefuls. Toyota is allotting a $5 million budget to directly support Paralympic athletes who are in contention to represent Team USA at the next 2 Paralympic Games. A $3000 direct support stipend + additional opportunities for those who makes the Games roster. I can’t think of another gesture of this grand scale, focused on people with disabilities. I feel comfortable making a generalized statement that pursuing high performance and excellence in sport is not inexpensive for any athlete, and I can highlight that people with disabilities, or para-athletes, often have additional costs directly related to their physical impairments. A running leg can cost upwards of $3,000+. An upper leg socket to hold a 1-legged rider on a bike can cost $1,500 for each bike. Many times, these costs aren’t covered by insurance companies as medically necessary so the cost falls on the athlete. I have spent hundreds of dollars just this past year for specialty weight training equipment so I can reap strength training benefits that most people can achieve with a standard barbell, which I cannot. Having a token of support from a major corporation who seems to understand this underlying concept in para sport is an act that I applaud.

At the time of writing this blog, I traveled to southern California to attend the first training camp for US Para Cycling since the start of the pandemic. I have to admit that I experienced quite a mix of emotions. First was the apprehension of traveling again. After being sheltered from “normal” life activities for so long, I had to remind myself of the routine again. I feel fortunate to have been fully vaccinated for the past couple weeks, which has helped ease the anxiety. Seeing my teammates and support staff again after more than a year was a true delight. I’m excited to be riding the indoor wooden cycling track tomorrow. There’s just nothing that replaces the exhilarating experience of G-forces pulling you into the track on the smooth banking of an Olympic regulation velodrome. I’ll be training as hard as I can in hopes of repaying all the support I receive from everyone in my life.  Wish me luck!


Subscribe to Access Granted

The Rocky Mountain ADA Center's blog, Access Granted, tackles ADA issues through unique and diverse perspectives. Articles are written by staff of RMADAC and a variety of special guest authors. Some may be educational, others might be personal or thought-provoking. Either way, Access Granted will bring you the ADA of today!

Complete the form below and never miss a new blog post!

* indicates required