My Paralympic Experience by Marc Fenn

My Paralympic Experience by Marc Fenn

Posted by Community Admin on Aug 29, 2016 11:15 am

When I was a young boy my adopted father wanted to teach me how to throw shot put and discus. Later in life I asked him why he taught me that and he replied:  “it’s the only sport-event that I know how to do so I will pass it on to you.” So from age 8 till I graduated from high school I learned how to throw the shot put and discus. Over the years I got lucky and broke several school records as I progressed through school. I had always dreamed to be an Olympic athlete but always knew I was just average at my event. 

In 1988 I joined the United States Military Army. I served 2 years in Infantry Airborne Unit stationed in Alaska. It was a great time, but it killed my training. in 1990 I received a shoulder injury that warranted an honorable medical discharge. A month and a few days after my discharge I fell off a roof working part time till college started back up. I became a paraplegic T-10 complete, I felt like life was over and there was no future to achieve, but luckily I ran into a mentor for the hospital and got playing wheelchair basketball and doing adapted recreation.  

This totally changed my life and view point as I learned to adjust to the wheelchair and disability I learned I could do sports again. At one point I was doing 5 sports and had 2 world rankings.  In 1995, I went to a track and field meet in Ohio. It was here that I won my events and a Paralympic coach who was present asked me if I would like to try out. I did and made the team for 1996 Atlanta Paralympic games. There I won a silver medal and set a national record in the discus. I tried my luck again the next 962c002cba003123dab56bebcea058f7-huge-m-Olympic year and made it to my 2nd Paralympic team in 2000 for Sydney, Australia. I was injured then and didn’t do as good as I did before but the experience in Australia was amazing. Every venue was sold out and packed. The crowd cheered for both teams during the entire Paralympic experience. I have been honored and privileged enough to represent my country 2x at the highest level a disabled person can achieve so far.

If it hadn’t been for the mentors and buddies in my life at that time and my military training and the love of my mother I wouldn’t of possibly gotten to this level of achievement. I tell everyone I meet that adapted recreation saved my life and it can save anyone struggling in life as well. 

My motto: you have to lean forward to move forward!

I am currently a volunteer in my city, Board member of PVA Nevada chapter, peer counselor, mentor, motivational/public speaker, assistant coach and still an athlete at age 46. Anything is possible if you believe you can do it. So what are you waiting for?


Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter YouTube Google+ LinkedIn Reeve Foundation Community Join our community.

Tag Topic

Subscribe to Topic

Would you like to be notified of updates to this Discussion Topic? Subscribe and you'll receive email updates of new posts.