Sports Stars with Disabilities

sports stars with disabilities

Physical Activity After a Disability

Suffering an injury can make physical activity difficult, especially if it’s a disabling injury that forces you to completely alter your lifestyle. While all circumstances are certainly not the same, some individuals who have suffered disabling injuries have sought fulfillment through sports, and have a achieved a great deal despite their disabilities. Here at Summit Law Disability Group, we strongly believe that life does not have to end after a disabling illness or injury. Through hard work, determination, and making the necessary adjustments, a great deal can still be accomplished. Below are a few stories about sports stars with disabilities who are excelling in their fields.

Notable Sports Stars with Disabilities

  • Wheelchair Tennis Player with Spina Bifida – Casey Ratzlaff

The organization Disabled Sports USA profiled Casey on their website. He is a wheelchair tennis champion who lives with spina bifida. This disease causes a person’s vertebrae to not form properly around the spinal cord. The disease left Casey on crutches, but it did not stop him from athletic achievement.

“I wasn’t very good. I could barely hit the ball with a racket,” Casey says in his profile on the website. “But once I hit the ball over, it started something for me. I wanted more.”

Casey competed in Tokyo, Japan as part of the U.S. World Cup Team, who won the gold medal in a match against Chile.

  • Mountain climber with Multiple Sclerosis – Lori Schneider 

Lori Schneider is an adventurous soul who discovered mountain climbing and never looked back. Everyday Health described her achievements along with other sports stars with disabilities in a recent article. Lori had been passionate about climbing for a very long time. However, when she was 43, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS. This condition damages nerve endings and causes miscommunication between the brain and nerves.

Lori did not let MS slow her down, and worked hard to continue climbing. In 2009, she became the first woman with MS to scale Mount Everest. She also later went on to be the first person with MS to complete the Seven Summits, an incredible feat for climbers.

She also takes the opportunity to help others with her condition. Lori led other climbers with MS to pursue their passion on the Leap of Faith Adventure climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

  • Golfer with Traumatic Brain Injury – Dan Hernandez

Disabled Sports USA profiled another accomplished disabled athlete. Former Marine Dan Hernandez suffered several traumatic brain injuries while serving in Iraq. These injuries made life difficult for Dan. He faced great uncertainty as to how he could return back to regular life.

Dan was an avid golf player before his injuries, and he quickly found that golf helped him cope with his injuries. He found that golf brought out his competitive side and allowed him to put a lot of hard work into something.

In his first qualifying match for the U.S. Open in 2012, Dan missed the Open by only one stroke! Dan’s story is just one example of how people with disabilities can accomplish great things in the athletic world.

Your Utah Social Security Disability Lawyers

Casey, Lori, and Dan are just a few of the many accomplished sports stars with disabilities. At our firm, we help disabled Utahns get the benefits they’ve earned. If you have a disability that is keeping you out of work, Social Security disability benefits can help remove stress from your life and add some financial stability and pace of mind.

At Summit Disability Law Group, we want to help you! Contact us today or fill out the free consultation form on this page. We will sit down with you and help you understand your options.

If you want to learn more about disability law, order a copy of our book! The Utah Social Security Disability Handbook explains the law in simple terms. Understanding your case can help you feel confident and prepared before setting up a consultation. You can order your absolutely free copy today by clicking on the book’s title above.


Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force and Senior Airman Jette Carr. The image is in the public domain of the United States.