Legally blind track athlete is ready for Paralympics
class=”size-full wp-image-7184″ title=”Screen Shot 2012-08-29 at 8.16.58 AM” src=”http://tnstatenewsroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Screen-Shot-2012-08-29-at-8.16.58-AM2.png” alt=”" width=”640″ height=”410″ />
He’s also legally blind.
“Let’s put it this way, I can see 20 percent of what a normal person can see,” Price said.
His vision impairment would prevent most people from entering sports. Not Price, who is competing in the London Paralympic Games as part of the U.S. Paralympic track and field team.
The Baltimore native is the second TSU athlete to earn a spot on the U.S. Paralympic team. He joins Ryan Fann, who won gold as a member of the 1,600-meter relay team in 2004.
Price will be competing in the 200- and 400-meter sprints, the 1,600-meter relay, the triple jump and his favorite event, the long jump.
“People ask me how I can do it,” Price said. “I just look at what’s ahead of me. … I don’t worry about what’s after that. It’ll come.”
On June 29-30, Price won two events at the U.S. Paralympic trials: the long jump and the 400 meters. He leaped 20 feet, 6¼ inches in the long jump. His time of 51.64 seconds in the 400 meters tied for fourth-best in the world in the T13/F13 category for athletes with disabilities.
Breaking expectations is nothing new to Price.
When Price’s vision disability was discovered when he was 3, no one thought he would ever play sports. But he did. First it was T-ball, then soccer, baseball, basketball and karate. When he was almost 11, Price started competing against able-bodied athletes in track and field.
“Even if I couldn’t do it, I wanted to try,” he said. “… Whatever I asked to do, (my parents) would get me involved.”
Four years after he first started running, Price stepped onto the international stage when he competed in the International Blind Sports Federation World Youth Championships, winning gold in the long jump and the 600 meters.
Price followed that by winning silver in the triple jump at the 2007 IBSA World Games, gold in the triple jump and 400 meters at the 2009 IBSA Pan American Games and finishing fourth in the 200 meters at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships.
Now he has his sights set on London.
“My next task is to get as many medals as I can, period,” Price said.
Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. Like any other athlete, Price strives to overcome weaknesses and “the mental part” through preparation and coaching.
“The majority of the coaching goes on in his head,” said Franz Holmes, 400-meters coach at TSU and Price’s Paralympic coach.
“The hardest thing for me is the mental part of the long jump ’cause I can psych myself out,” Price said. “Just got to calm myself down.”
On and off the track, Price hopes others find inspiration in his triumphs and struggles.
“If I can inspire one person, that’s all that matters to me,” Price said.
Price, whose undergraduate degree is in fashion merchandising, plans to attend graduate school in management, open a store that specializes in exclusive shoes and participate in the 2016 Olympics as well as the Paralympics — just like South African double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius did at the London Olympics earlier this summer.
“I’m glad (Pistorius) made it. He’s putting it out there that people with disabilities can compete, too.” Price said. “And I’ll be there one day with him.”
Pistorius, nicknamed “Blade Runner,” became the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics. He reached the semifinals in the 400 meters and was the anchor for South Africa’s 1,600-meter relay team.
Joining Price on the U.S. Paralympic track and field team are Tennesseans Blake Leeper of Kingston and Michael Murray of Nashville.
Leeper, a bilateral below-the-knee amputee, will chase Pistorius’ world record 100-meter time of 10.91. Leeper’s best time is 11.08. He currently attends the University of Tennessee.
Murray is the first U.S. athlete with an intellectual disability to train and travel with the U.S. Paralympic team in more than a decade. In his first international meet, the 2011 IPC World Championships, he posted the ninth-fastest time in the 1500 meters.
Price’s first event, the long jump, is Friday, and his final competition is Sept. 7. Results will be posted on http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/.
Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
About Tennessee State University
With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as the Number One University in the state by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu
TSU Quick Facts
Motto: Think, Work, Serve Established: June 19, 1912 Type: Public, HBCU Endowment: $41.7 million Chancellor: John Morgan President: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Faculty: 431 Enrollment: 8775 Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States Campus: Urban, 500 acres (2 km²) Former names: Tennessee A&I State Normal School for Negroes (1912); Tennessee A&I State Normal College (1925); Tennessee A&I State University (1951); Tennessee State University (1968) Colors: Reflex Blue and White Nickname: Tigers Athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association Affiliations: Ohio Valley Conference Web site: www.tnstate.edu Phone: 615-963-5000
TagsAristocrat of Bands Avon Williams Campus Career Development Center Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement college of agriculture College of Business College of Education College of Engineering College of Engineering Technology & Computer Science College of Health Science College of Liberal Arts Commencement 2013 Cooperative Extension Department of Communications Department of Music Distinguished Lecture Series Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Engineering FACULTY Forensics Glenda Glover GRANTS Homecoming 2012 human and natural sciences Kelli Volk Nashville Flood Physical Therapy Portia Shields RESEARCH Scholarships School of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences STEM Study Abroad Supply Chain Management Supply Chain Summit TBR Terry likes TSU Agriculture TSU College of Business tsu engineering TSU Scholarships TSU School of Nursing TSU Service Learning Tuition USDA