Nike Signs First Pro Athlete with Cerebral Palsy
You can’t cry pretty.
Carrie Underwood sang it so it’s basically a fact, and if you want to test the theory then watch this.
Justin Gallegos is a member of the University of Oregon track club. He also has cerebral palsy. In 2017, he set out to join a select few athletes with cerebral palsy to ever complete a half marathon — and his goal was under 2 hours.
Long story short, he came in just shy at 2 hours, 3 minutes but everyone was all kinds of sobbing and it’s not hard to tell why. You can watch more of it here.
In the midst of all that training…
He told a friend at Nike Running about his two hour goal. He told another friend, and that friend told another friend and then someone told Brett Kirby, a senior human performance researcher in the Nike Sport Research Lab, and Geng Luo, a senior biomechanics researcher.
And they started working with him for months to help achieve that goal, analyzing his running patterns to create a custom shoe to fit his gait.
Here’s where we get to the good part.
Like we said, he didn’t hit his goal that day but Justin was determined to continue pursuing it.
Then one day, a bunch of cameras showed up to practice to capture some footage of Justin training. After they all finished up, Nike’s Insight’s Director, John Douglass, walked up to Justin and presented him with a three year contract as a pro runner with Nike.
OK, onion ninjas…when did y’all show up?
Oh and Nike hasn’t been the only company in Justin’s corner. Both RockTape and Xendurance are supporting his athletic career too.