Quadriplegic Olympic Medalist Speaks Words of Encouragement

8 years 3 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, September 30 2010 Sep 30, 2010 Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:24:02 AM CDT September 30, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Mark Zupan learned to live with challenges. He was paralyzed at 18 years old after a car accident. He shared the story of that tragic night at Jesse Hall Wednesday night.

More than 100 students and community members gathered to hear his motivational speech. The event was part of MU's Celebrate Ability Week.

"You want to take something and make the best of it. Have dreams. Go big. And I mean by go big, set your dreams high because you need something to achieve. You need something to look toward. And the path along that you choose will be fun because of the people you encounter," said Zupan.

Zupan rebounded from his injury through the Paralympics. As a member of Team USA, he brought home a bronze medal from the 2004 games in Athens and a gold medal from the the 2008 games in Beijing. He was recently named US Quad Ruby Association's Athlete of the Year.

In addition, Zupan was the star of the award winning film "Murderball." He also recently wrote a book, "Gimp." 

"I'm just fortunate to have these opportunities and meet these people. I don't know that I can necessarily say there's a highlight. I dig what I've been fortunate to experience and the people, and the whole thing is awesome," said Zupan.

A free screening of "Murderball" followed Zupan's speech.


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