By Chris O'Brien and Victor Prieto | May 28, 2021
Sports bring us together in so many ways. We celebrate athletes’ victories, lament their shortcomings and watch their entire journeys.
Impossible celebrates five adaptive athletes who have overcome enormous odds to find success in their respective sports.
Never Say Never
Nick Stilwell lost his legs in 2008 at age 25 after a horrific bus accident. Over the next 13 years, he experienced lots of highs and lows, but eventually found peace through his “Never Say Never” Foundation. A national champion and a foundation created, Nick’s family still had one lingering question. The night of the accident, one man pulled over on the side of the road to help apply pressure and tourniquet Nick’s legs, but then disappeared. Who was he and where did he end up?
Run Regas Run
Regas Woods was born in Dunnellon with a congenital anomaly that didn’t allow his tibia and fibula to properly develop. His mother, Deborah, was given the option to either amputate both his legs at age two or six due to his condition. But Woods didn’t let that stop him. Now a Paralympian, his journey took an extremely unexpected turn in 2018.
Chris Herman graduated from the University of Florida in the Spring of 2020 with one goal: qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the Games to 2021, Chris’s journey has prepared him to overcome any obstacle he faces on-and-off the court.
The One-Armed Bandit
Chris Kemp was active growing up. Football, golf, softball, pretty much anything with a ball in it, he played. But when an accident left one of his arms paralyzed, he had to adapt. As he puts it, “I should have died. I had a .01 percent chance of survival after one minute of the accident because of some of the injuries I sustained, so I was just happy to be alive.”
Beyond the Finish Line
Chris Nikic had done what many considered impossible. With his arms stretched to the heavens, history had been made. Enduring one of the hardest physical and mental challenges a human could experience, Nikic completed a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a full 26.2-mile marathon in under 17 hours. This accomplishment was the first-time a person with Down syndrome ever achieved the historic feat. We explore his training regimen and what it’s like to overcome the extraordinary odds.
Meet the team behind the project.