Black Positive People : Swimming to the 2012 Olympics

Discussion in 'Black People Doing Positive Things' started by cherryblossom, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Swimmer hopes to compete in Paralympics


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    Daniel Giles/TimesDaily
    Roderick Sewell practices at the Royal Avenue Recreation Center in Florence. For two hours a day, six days a week, Sewell trains in hopes of representing the United States in the 2012 Paralympics in London.

    By Michelle Rupe Eubanks
    Staff Writer
    Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.

    The moment Roderick Sewell's fingertips breach the water's surface, he feels he's home.

    “It's where I feel I am most myself,” the University of North Alabama freshman said.

    Nothing matters except this moment — not the history test next week, not the life he's left behind with his mom in Birmingham, not the two feet and calves that are missing below his knees.

    From one end of the pool to the next, he swims 25 meters at a stretch, back and forth until 500 have elapsed and practice, for this day at least, is done.

    Swimming is life to Roderick. It is what saved him once and, he is quite sure, will save him again.

    What got him to Florence, the swim team and UNA is part of a much larger dream, one Roderick hopes will culminate with the 2012 Paralympics in London.

    Getting to this point hasn't been easy, as no dream worth accomplishing ever is.

    “I don't ever remember having my legs,” Roderick said. “I've always adapted to a life without them.”

    At birth, the bones in his calves were missing and his feet were twisted, conditions that made forward mobility virtually impossible. The only way Roderick could have any kind of independence would be to remove his legs above his knees. The surgery took place when he was just 14 months old.

    It wasn't until he was 10 that he took his first dip in a swimming pool.

    “We were living in San Diego at the time, and really, the only reason I wanted to learn how to swim was that I was afraid of the water,” Roderick said.

    He quickly overcame that fear. He learned how to use his upper body and improve his breathing techniques in order to propel himself through the water.

    For a few years, life became a blur of school work and swimming, until the day his mother, Marian Sewell, said there was no money left. The family finances were so depleted that food and shelter were threatened. Swimming would have to take a back seat indefinitely.

    “It was very expensive and, finally, we had to leave California because of financial difficulties,” Roderick said. “When we left we were homeless, and we chose to move to Birmingham because it would be cheaper and we had family there.”

    For a time, Roderick and his mother were without a permanent address after they moved to Alabama in 2004. It took time and help from friends and family, but Roderick soon made his way back to the sport that had become a passion.>>>>>>


    COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.timesdaily.com/article/2...Title=Swimmer-hopes-to-compete-in-Paralympics
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    In the Spotlight: Roderick Sewell

    Roderick Sewell, of Hoover, Alabama, has never been your average kid. The life he has lived and the stories he can tell are not what you hear out of the mouth of every 16 year old.

    Shortly after Roderick and his mother Marian moved from San Diego to Birmingham they found the shelter they needed at BHN. After only a brief stay here their little family was able to find a place to call their own and that is where the real excitement began.

    Roderick was born without either tibia, and his feet were twisted. Before he was two he had to have both of his legs amputated above the knee.

    However, he has not let that stop him. At the age of 12 he began participating with the Lakeshore Foundation programs. It was there that he
    found comfort and encouragement through the people he met and the challenges he faced through competition. He began participating in wheelchair basketball and swimming and has even put some thought into playing wheelchair rugby. Through the Lakeshore Foundation Roderick
    was chosen with 25 other students to travel to Beijing, China in September 2008 to participate in the International Paralympics Academy. This program is set up for young disabled people between the ages of 12 and 18 to show and teach them the meaning of competition and true commitment.

    During his time in Beijing he was able to meet and talk with the athletes, get front row seats to many of the events, experience the culture and sights of the city, and - let us not forget - climb the Great Wall of China. After being a part of something so huge Roderick has been inspired to push himself harder and hopes to compete on the US swim team in the 2012 Paralympics
    in London....

    http://www.birminghamhospitalitynetwork.com/pdfs/Newsletter_Feb_2009.pdf
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    I think his chances is great and i salute his stride and wish him the greatest luck
     
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