Wow what a great year. So many great things have happened this year and boy was I glad that the Mayas were wrong about the end of the world as I still have much to accomplish.
In looking back at 2012, here are a couple of highlights:
- Huge move from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado to Michigan to get ready for Paralympic trials in North Dakota and the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
- Being a featured athlete as part of the special Olympic Edition of the Topps trading cards.
- Being named to the 2012 Paralympic team to represent the USA in London.
- Really enjoyed Germany and their hospitality as they served as the USA team host prior to arriving at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
- Had a rough start at the 2012 Games with a 5th and 4th place finish in the 400 Meter Freestyle and the 100 Meter Butter fly. I was extremely happy it wasn’t a repeat of the 2008 Beijing Games. Then when I got my first Paralympic medal, a Bronze in the 100 Meter Freestyle, a Silver medal in the 100 Meter Backstroke and a Bronze medal in the 50 Meter Freestyle.
- Following the Paralympic Games, I had the great privilege to backpack through 9 different countries in 20 days with my best friend Anthony Gambino.
- Traveled to Nebraska to speak and raise money to help build a gym for small town of Broken Bow. Also, great husker hospitality.
- I had the great opportunity and honor to participate in the 86th Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, MI. It was really cool to have the support of Michigan there to see the “hardware” I earned in London.
- And to close out the year I had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family.
I am so grateful for everyone who helped me get to where I needed to be when I needed to be there. I’d like to thank AmbuTech for their continued support and generous donation and to TYR Sports for supplying me with all of my competition swim suits. I would like to thank my coach, Shawn Kornoelje and Cheryl Angelelli for all their support and guidance. I couldn’t have made all of my dreams come true without the help of Ken Bland for who took care of business and handling EVERY logistical item in my life for the past 4 years to make my every step possible. I am very fortunate to be able to look at my career and have such a great backing and FINALLY have hardware to show for it.
We all have so much to be grateful for and I hope that everyone had a great 2012 and here’s looking forward to a great 2013. Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement.