The people who ‘picked up and moved on’

It’s no secret that the headlines in Minnesota today could make people shake their head and walk away from people. Too bad. We’re focusing on the wrong people.

The Paralympics games begin in London in a few days. Minnesota has a fair number of athletes. Here are some of them.

Mallory Weggemann of Eagan received an epidural injection to help treat back pain in 2008. But something went wrong and she’s paralyzed from the waist down. She now holds 34 American records and 15 world records. She’s ranked number one in the world in six of the seven Paralympic swimming events.

Alana Nichols of Farmington broke her spine at 17 when attempting a backflip while snowboarding. She’s paralyzed from the waist down. She is now a wheelchair basketball player and she’s also become an alpine skier. She’s the only U.S. woman to win medals at both the summer and winter paralympics.

John Rydberg of Oakdale coaches women’s tennis at Woodbury’s East Ridge High School. He’s competing in doubles tennis. He was paralyzed at 13 when a truck rolled on him.

Rose Hollerman of Elysian is the youngest player on the women’s basketball team. She’s been in a wheelchair since she was five. She was profiled in this story from MPR’s Dan Olson earlier this year.

Sarah Binsfeld of Vadnais Heights is also on the women’s basketball team.