"Nothing is impossible to a willing mind" is the mantra that Matt Brown of Norwood, Mass. has chosen to live his life by. Matt's life was forever changed by a high school hockey accident that rendered him a quadrapalegic when he was 15 years old.
The board of the New York City Marathon have denied Matt Brown and his running partner Lucas Carr the opportunity to compete in the upcoming November race because Matt can not power push his wheelchair on his own. The decision has left me screaming one word: discrimination.
One question resonates through my mind: Why aren't sponsors of the race such as the New York Times and Timex stepping to the plate in support of Brown and Carr's entry?
Like a true marathoner, Matt is exhibiting a level of perseverance, endurance and patience as he waits for this unforeseen vote to be overturned.
Brown has stated that 'marathoning' makes him" feel normal". Why is he being denied that feeling of normalcy that the majority of us take for granted? Because the race is too crowded?
New York take note: the Boston Marathon was the first marathon to incorporate the wheelchair division in 1975 .During this span, over 1,000 wheelchair participants have endured the grueling 26.2 mile iconic race to the thrills of thousands of spectators. Blind, visually impaired and mobility impaired participants have enjoyed the camaraderie of this endearing and challenging format of racing.
Dick Hoyt, and his son Rick, who suffers from cerebral palsy, have run the Boston Marathon a record thirty one times. Dick power pushes Rick through the roadways leading to Copley Square on a custom designed chair and is revered, admired and applauded on the annual trek .
This remarkable twosome deserve to feel the euphoria of crossing the Verranzo Bridge into the arms of Brooklynites relishing each and every moment of this unique experience.
The duo ran the Boston Marathon two years ago and have run several half marathons as a singular unit, a team effort that needs to be replicated in New York.
Recently, New York is garnering unwanted headlines thanks to the likes of the narcissistic Anthony Weiner and Alex Rodriquez. This is a prime opportunity for New York to return to the headlines in a positive way.
Matt Brown is and was an athlete. I look forward to reading Matt and Lucas' finish time as they cross the finish line in Central Park on the first Sunday of November.
I am loudly screaming, like the spectators along a marathon route, for Brown and Carr to receive their due number.
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