I have another treasure to share with all of you today, a story from an inspirational individual who has carried his disability with his head held high and has inspired family, friends, students and others to believe and suprise themselves!
Josh Vander Vies represented Canada at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece in the sport of Boccia. Josh was born without limbs, but has not let this stop him from creating an amazing life, overcoming challenges and having an amazing attitude. Here is his story.
Josh Vander Vies
As I grew, I became interested in physical activity. I joined a swim team for athletes with disabilities and soon competed in Swimming, Shot Put, Discus and Javelin. Then I discovered Boccia – the international Paralympic indoor version of the Italian past time – and was hooked on the intense skill, precision, strategy and competition of pushing myself to get better and better.
You should love yourself too. No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, you have the ability to surprise yourself.
Sometimes I wonder whether or not I have an effect when I visit schools, or speak to audiences. My partner, Dalia, and I were watching a show at the Vancouver Centre for the Performing Arts, and at intermission a couple I didn’t recognise, approached us. One of them was a teacher at a local school I had presented at; she told me that the students were organising a sports day – several months after I had presented – and they insisted that Boccia be included in the program. An outdoor version was included, and was a great success bringing students of all abilities and backgrounds together in friendly competition.
Sometimes I surprise myself.
At a recent corporate presentation, the nicest lady approached me afterwards in tears and told me that my message had affected her in a very personal way. Neither of us could find the words to express ourselves further, so we hugged and smiled and cried.
Sometimes I really surprise myself.