Marshall County Boy With Prosthetics Shatters National Records at Endeavor Games
Cooper Blair is a Marshall County 10-year old who is defying all odds.
Cooper is not like any other 10-year old boy, he was born with deformed legs and feet, and had to lose his lower legs when he was 2. He's been dealing with prosthetics even since, but don't think for once that slows him down.
He didn't want to hear what specialists told him. "It was hard. But all the people, all the doctors said I would never be able to run or walk, and I just got up and started running," he said.
His parents, Zack and Richelle, said it's hard to keep up with him. Richelle said, "We constantly had doctors telling us he may never walk, he may ever run. or he'll be in a wheelchair, he won't play sports, you know, all this doom and gloom. And then to sit back now and look at him and see where he's come and where he's going and how much further is he gonna go? He just amazes us every day."
At the recent Endeavor Games, featuring hundreds of kids in Oklahoma, Cooper won 3 gold medals, setting 2 national records along the way. Cooper won the 100 meters in 15.55 and set a new national record by 8 seconds, and his 400 meter title was equally impressive, a race he has never practiced nor run, and he won gold setting a new national record by a whopping 36 seconds. Richelle said, "It was a moment of screaming and joy and excitement. Not that we weren't proud of him just for getting out there and doing it, but for him to win gold, let alone break a national record, he just amazes me. And competing against kids 14-years old, 4 years older than him."
"I just kept practicing practicing and training doing all that stuff to prepare for all theses races and get ready so. I just kept pushing myself to do it and did some good times," said Cooper.
Cooper has also gotten some media attention. In fact, a crew from HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" is shooting a segment on him. But his grandfather isn't surprised by anything this inspirational boy can do. Mike Blair said, "To me he's still just Cooper Blair. I'm his paw and he's just great. Not surprised at all because he has a lot of determination."
Cooper is headed to Nationals in Iowa City in July, with hopes of qualifying for the world event.