Nike Surprises Young Man with Cerebral Palsy by Giving Him Pro Contract After Race

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Training for any competitive sport takes determination, skill and grit. You have to push yourself further than you’re comfortable with, and constantly challenge yourself to be better and faster.

That’s difficult for anyone, but when you have a condition on top of it all, becoming a recognized athlete isn’t just an honor, it’s proof that there’s really nothing that can hold you back from your goals.

Justin Gallegos, a junior at the University of Oregon, runs cross-country with the school’s running club. Recently, after one of his practice runs, he was surprised by the news that Nike wanted to offer him a contract.

This was big, really big. Not just because Gallegos would become a well-known athlete, but because he was the first one with Cerebral palsy to land a contract with Nike.

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Gallegos shared his thoughts on the monumental accomplishment on Instagram on Oct. 6.


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“Today on world Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, I reached a milestone in my running journey!” he wrote. “Today I made Nike history and became the very first athlete with Cerebral Palsy to sign a contract with Nike!

“You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes! Signing this contract was a huge success for me and I would not have made it without my friends and family and teammates!

“This was perhaps the most emotional moment in my seven years of running! Growing up with a disability, the thought of becoming a professional athlete is as I have said before like the thought of climbing Mt. Everest!

“It is definitely possible, but the odds are most definitely not in your favor! Hard work pays off! Hundreds of miles, blood, sweat, and tears has lead me here along with a few permanent scars! But the journey is damn sure not over!!!

“Looking back, I would guess there is only a few select people who would see me were I am today! I have gone through just about everything in the book to be where I am today! I was once a kid in leg braces who could barely put on foot in front of the other! Now I have signed a contract with Nike Running!”

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“Trust the process! And most of all trust in God! God is good! Thank you to all my friends, family, and teammates on running club, and now a brand new atmosphere on teammates with Nike! This moment will live forever! Thank you everyone for helping show the world that there is No Such Thing As A Disability!”

His joy is clear in the video that’s making the rounds. After John Douglass with Nike showed up and announced the contract, Gallegos fell to the ground, sobbing.

All that hard work, all the grueling practice and pain and the not-knowing had paid off.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking