NORWAY, Maine — Josh Kennison, an elite para-athlete from South Paris, has been selected to compete in the 100- and 200-meter sprints at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, July 21-22.
Kennison’s track and field credits include breaking the world record for the long jump in 2013.
A quad amputee who was born missing both feet and arms as well as his tongue and half of his jaw, Kennison has had a lifelong love of sports. He began running track and playing soccer in middle school.
His passion and competitive para-athletic career lit up in high school when he received running legs from his prosthetic doctor and realized his propensity for speed. Soon after, he placed among the top three at an Arizona track meet, and never looked back.
He went on to become a member of the USA Paralympic Track Team, won four medals at the 2010 Endeavor Games, and is gearing up for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I am always training,” said Kennison. “I am always trying, always preparing. You have to stay focused all the time.”
Kennison is also a motivational speaker, a recipient of the 2010 Amway Hero award and is involved with the Never Say Never Foundation. This foundation provides running legs, wheelchairs and other equipment to help amputees remain active.
He attends Camp No Limits, an organization for children with limb loss and their families that teaches basic skills such as tying shoes and playing sports.
“You can do anything you want as long as you have the right mindset,” Kennison said. “I never give up on stuff. If I have my mind set, I am going to make it happen whether it takes days, or weeks, or months. Getting the world record was amazing, but now I want to take it to the next level. I want to take home a gold medal.”
Kennison’s competition will be available via livestream at www.youtube.com/paralympicsporttv on Sunday, July 21 at 6:19 p.m, and Monday July 22 at 5:16 p.m. Fans can also connect with Kennison at Norway Savings Bank, where he will be signing autographs after his return from France.
For more information about the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, please visit http://www.paralympic.org/Events/Lyon2013