The Main Stream

Aug 13, 2012 3:40 PM

U of A students will represent the U.S. in the Paralympics

TUCSON - As the Olympic Games come to an end, another international competition begins.

The Paralympics host some of the best athletes in the world, and some of them train in Tucson. Two track athletes from the University of Arizona will be representing the U.S. in London.

Jordan Bird and Zach Abbott can't move their legs but they can probably beat you around the track. These guys train just as hard as their Olympic counterparts.

"It's a great honor. To represent the US, the people, there is no greater feeling. Everything you have ever worked for in your entire life is finally coming together," said Bird.

While they are both excited to represent Tucson and their country, they hope more attention will be paid to their sport. Some countries pay just as much attention to the Paralympics as they do to the Olympics.

"We're not the Special Olympics! The prefix 'para' actually stands for equal. It's parallel. It's the same level of competition, the same elite athletes, same level of work put in. Years, lives dedicated," said Abbott.

Zach and Jordan aren't the only UA athletes headed to the Paralympics. Six total Wildcats will be representing the U.S. in London.

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