Justin Gallegos used a walker to help him get around until he was in kindergarten. Now, as a college junior at the University of Oregon, he routinely runs a seven-minute mile.
Justin has cerebral palsy, a condition that makes it difficult for him to control his limbs. He has overcome his CP continually throughout his life, and as he crossed the finish line at the 2018 Eugene Half Marathon in Eugene, Oregon, in April, camera crews were on hand to celebrate this epic accomplishment.
What Justin didn’t know at the time, however, was that Elevation Om film company was not there to capture the moment Justin completed the half marathon. They had a much greater and more momentous reason for filming the race that day.
After Justin finished the race, John Douglass, the Insight Director for Nike, approached him carrying a document that would change the life of any athlete: a professional contract to represent the famous brand. This contract makes Justin the first-ever person with cerebral palsy to sign on with Nike!
Justin was overcome when he received the news that he instantly burst into tears of joy. After hugging John and his fellow runners, Justin fell to the ground with gratitude.
Justin held off on announcing his big news until October 6th, which is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. That’s when he shared his achievement on Instagram, stating:
“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!!!”
Justin’s accomplishment is so inspiring! Just think of him every time that little voice in your head tells you that you can’t do something. We can do whatever we put our mind to, and here’s the proof.
Watch Justin’s incredibly emotional reaction to finding out he’s the first-ever athlete with CP to sign with Nike, and don’t forget to share.
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