Josh Sundquist continues Pillars of America Speaker Series
Published: 05/02/2013 13:15:00
The Glacier Valley Rotary Club's "Pillars of America" featured speaker this week was Paralympic Skier and Author Josh Sundquist, who competed in the 2006 Paralympics in Torino Italy and penned a national bestseller. In an interview with KINY's Sharon Gaiptman, he related a little bit of his background.
"I started having pain in my leg and after a series of medical tests I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma in my left leg. So I had a fifty percent chance to live, I started chemotherapy and after a few months the tumor in my leg was covering my whole femur from my knee to my hip and so the best chance I had to live was for my leg to be amputated from the hip.
When I was sixteen I started racing competitively and immediately also just sort of fell in love with that and you know it was kind of a thing where I hadn't really been able to do competitive sports as a kid you know so I was like 'here's this thing I can do.' The big appeal of it to me was that it was something I could do as well or as fast with one leg as anyone could do with two legs.
So I moved out to Colorado my senior year of high school, I graduated early and just started racing and training full time and so I did that it took about six seasons and then in 2006 I was named to the Paralympics team and got to race in Torino Italy.
It never occurred to me that I had a story to tell and so my initial speeches had nothing to do with me it was like 'here's the one two three step process for setting goals' or whatever, and then gradually over time I realized that the only time anyone was paying attention was when I was talking about stories from my life and my experiences, and so over time I realized that I do have an interesting story to tell people. I found through my speeches and such that people really connected with my story and it gave them hope in their circumstances and so I had the opportunity to write a book about my life called "Just Don't Fall" so that came out in 2010, a national bestseller in hardcover which is pretty cool, and it's probably the thing I'm most proud of is the book."
By: Rik Pruett - firstname.lastname@example.org