The premium sportswear brand, Nike had recently endorsed a disabled athlete, who will be the first ever Nike athlete with Cerebral Palsy. He is also the first professional athlete with Cerebral Palsy in the world. This honored athlete, Justin Gallegos, is an athlete at the University of Oregon, where he is a club runner. Very recently, he was perplexed with the honor of winning a race, by running the final lap, and it was on the same day that Nike surprised the world (including him), with the Nike contract. The moment was too emotional not to have been caught on camera. As John Tuax, a Nike marketing manager, handed him the contract, lots of media firms and lenses were on them.
What exactly is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a group of disorders that impairs a person’s ability to move their body and use their muscles properly. This condition has many levels of severity but they can all be traced to a damage to the brain with causes an inability to develop some parts of the brain. It doesn’t usually start this way (stripping the person of the ability to use their muscles), but it results there with time. Depending on the level of severity, it could paralyze a person at high intensity, but the subtle cerebral palsy can still give one the chance to walk on their own although not soon.
Gallegos’ case is different. His impairment is particularly speech related, and he has also lost a tangible part of the control he has over his muscles. However, he can still walk and run without any kind of aid. Sometimes, while running, he falls. This is because he does not have total control of the muscles, and when the legs drag, he falls.
How Running Has Been Helping Gallegos
Gallegos had started running since he was a freshman in high school. However, he kept himself under the radar; behind other runners, because he looked feeble and could easily get knocked down. He kept working towards the goal and he achieved it, he ran three miles in 10 minutes.
He became more passionate about running and made sure he never missed a single training session. He set goals, and he continually achieved them. He wasn’t in competition with anyone but himself.
Particularly, the fact that he had been running for a while is why he is still able to control parts of his body. He shouldn’t be able to walk, but he does, and he hardly falls during races.
In the early parts of 2018, Nike’s teak of innovators took particular interest in him, and paid attention to his races.
He is said to have inspired the company’s creation of the Nike FlyEase version of their Air Zoom Pegasus 35. The shoes allow him to open his shoes and close them by making a very simple gestures. They also wanted him to be more convenient and balanced when he tries to run.