Runner With Cerebral Palsy Makes History After Signing With Nike
A runner with cerebral palsy has made this history this week after Nike signed him up for a three-year running contract.
Twenty-year-old Justin Gallegos, who attends University of Oregon, was surprised by John Douglass, Nike's insight director, who popped up at a run practice to hand-deliver the contract.
Sharing the happy news on Instagram, Gallegos wrote: "Growing up with a disability, the thought of becoming a professional athlete is as I have said before like the thought of climbing Mt. Everest.
"It is definitely possible, but the odds are most definitely not in your favour! Hard work pays off!"
A heart-warming clip shared by Elevation 0m to coincide with Cerebral Palsy Day showed the moment Gallegos was given the contract. In the short clip, Gallegos can be seen warming up for a race, before being told that he's being signed up with Nike. A shocked Gallegos then burst into tears as drops to his knees as the emotions take over.
View this post on Instagram
I'm still at loss for words! Thank to everyone for the love and the support not only the past couple days but the last seven years of my life! Beyond blessed to officially represent the swoosh! Still can't believe I made Nike history! Very excited! Big things are yet to come! Trust in the process! And trust in God! All glory to the most high! God is truly good! #NikeRunning #NIKE #SWOOSH #SwooshFamily #Beaverton #Nike72 #JustDoIt #ThereIsNoFinishLine #StrongerEveryMile #NoSuchThingAsADisability #Limitless #Breaking2
His Instagram post continued: "I was once a kid in braces who could barely put one foot in front of the other.
"Thank you everyone for helping show the world that there is No Such Thing As A Disability."
On Twitter he has talked about how proud he is to be a part of team Nike.
Is this real life? Thank you to all my friends and family and teammates who got my back and supported me through everything! This is a freaking dream come true! Proud to officially be apart of SWOOSH family!! pic.twitter.com/7uDwWkHhPW- Justin S. Gallegos (@zoommagic98) October 8, 2018
Gallegos' achievement is made all the more impressive by the fact that he had used a walker to help him get around while growing up, before taking part in physical therapy and eventually taking up running while in high school.
In April of this year, Gallegos ran the Eugene Half Marathon in 2h 03m 49s and dreams of one day completing a half marathon in less than two hours, which, if his past determination is anything to go by, will only be a matter of time.
Featured Image Credit: Elevation 0m for Nike