PHOENIX — Ryan Piney is living his dream: representing Team USA in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics after a freak accident left him paralyzed.
The road that landed him here wasn’t easy.
“My biggest fear was my future,” said Pinney.
Pinney started training as a Paralympics cyclist after a BMX accident left him paralyzed from the waist down in 2012. The accident happened a year before his wedding to his now-wife. At the time, he was filled with so much uncertainty. Cycling training helped him overcome that fear.
“The sport of cycling really found me,” said Pinney. “It gave me a new mission.”
Immediately following his accident, his goal was to compete in the 2016 Paralympics.
“I don't know how realistic of a goal it was. Just because I was so fresh from my injury. I was so new to riding the bike,” said Pinney.
But that’s what makes his first Paralympics in Tokyo even sweeter.
“One thing that I really learned now looking back is trust. The trust in my coaching, trust in my nutrition, and trusting that everything just comes together,” said Pinney.
Pinney is ready to compete in the time trial and road race.
“I'm just so excited to be able to wear red, white and blue. Again, it might not be the military aspect, but it's another stage that I get to I get to show off our country,” said Pinney.
His tenacity can inspire all of us to never give up.
“I had to stay the course,” said Pinney.
Now, we can’t wait to see him cross the finish line.
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