The Olympic Games are over but the competition continues in England. Jessica Galli is one of the athletes representing the United States in the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games, which are under way in London. The 28-year-old, who lives in Savoy, Ill., uses a wheelchair to compete in track and field events.
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“It’s natural if something traumatic happens in your life for you to sort of look at the negative and to think that you may not be able to live up to all the dreams that you had set for yourself before that but I do believe I am example of how you can overcome those obstacles,”Galli said.
Originally from New Jersey, Galli was involved in a car crash when she was 7 years old. The crash fractured her spine and left her paralyzed. She later came to Illinois to study at the University of Illinois. When I was a senior in high school I was looking to go to college, like most seniors, and I saw that the University of Illinois had a varsity program for wheelchair track and field,” Galli said. She visited the campus, applied and was accepted. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the university.
This year’s games will be the fourth time Galli will have participated in the Paralympics. In the 2008 summer games she won five medals - one gold, three silvers and one bronze. She will be participating in the 100-meter races as well as the 200-,400- and 800-meter races where she holds the world records.
The Paralympics run through Sept. 9. You can follow Galli and the rest of the U.S. team at www.usparalympics.org.