Athletes set to help teens with disabilities discover new sports

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PARK CITY -- World class athletes who overcame disabilities will introduce Utah teens to sports they may have never considered.

The Paralympic Academy is a chance for youth with physical disabilities to discover new horizons.

World champion Greg Shaw plays center on the U.S. Sled Hockey team. He sprints on the ice and easily handles the puck on his adaptive gear.

"I would never let my disability slow me down," he said. "That's no way to live. You can always do something."

Shaw recently won a gold medal with the national team in the Sled Hockey World Championships in the Czech Republic.

"It was just breathtaking, knowing that our flag was being raised and our national anthem was being played, and we were world champions," he said.

Athletes set to help teens with disabilities discover new sports

Shaw was born without a complete spine and can't use his legs. But he's always been an athlete.

**2009 Utah Paralympic Academy**
Saturday, June 6, 12-4pm Holladay Lions Fitness and Recreation Center 1661 East Murray-Holladay Rd. (4800 S.)
The 19-year-old started off on a skateboard. He took up skiing when his family moved to Park City when he was 13. But the fierce game of sled hockey really captured him.

"Sports just came natural to me," he said.

He's a serious rider on a hand cycle, too. Saturday he'll join other paralympic athletes in Holladay for the 2009 Paralympic Academy.

The National Ability Center, Salt Lake County and U.S. paralympics invite Utah teens with physical disabilities to check out sports like cycling, quad rugby and archery.

Shaw says he's looking forward to Saturday's academy because it gives him a chance to share his experience with youth who may be inspired by what he's accomplished.

Shaw will share his gold medal and give a glimpse of the freedom that sports can offer youth with physical disabilities.

Shaw plans to compete in the paralymics in Vancouver next winter and hopes to bring home another gold medal.


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Jed Boal


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