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Local Teen Trains for Paralympic Games


While most teens are getting ready for summer break, soon to be 14-year-old Cooper Blair is getting ready to run…and fast.

A few weeks ago, Cooper qualified to go to LA where he’s going to run for the chance to be on Team USA in the Paralympic Games.

“I’m very excited, it’s a huge opportunity. I’m very excited to do it. It’s always been a dream of mine to run for Team USA,” Cooper said.

To add to the excitement, his family and his entire school at Our Lady of Peace got together today to hold a “YAY Cooper” day before he leaves.

To his complete surprise.

“I walk in and I see a sign that says “Cooper”, I saw them, I was just amazed, I didn’t expect any of it.. Saw it and got a huge smile on my face.”

Cooper, was born with a birth defect that eventually lead to him having both of his feet amputated. But it has never slowed him down.Cooper and his mother both talked to his school about that fact.

“His disability has really turned just a different ability. It’s given him so many amazing opportunities and he wouldn’t change it at all, he’s perfectly content with who he is and so am I, I couldn’t be a happier or more proud mother,” said Cooper’s mother, Richelle.

Until the Blair family leaves next week, Cooper is training two times a day in the gym and out on the track.

“They said I’d never be able to walk, play sports, I’d be in a wheel chair. Now, I’m playing basketball, running track. “They said I couldn’t walk, so I learned to run,” said Cooper.

Cooper will be running against people up to 20-years-old at Nationals.

He’s hoping to beat 13-seconds in the 100 meter run.

His qualifying time a few weeks ago was 13.64 seconds.

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