Nine-time Paralympic Medalist Trains For Another Competition

Curtis Lovejoy says he lives in the Adamsville Recreation Center's pool.

Five to six days a week, can be found in the pool of the in Cascade.

"Man, I live in this pool," said the nine-time Paralympic medalist, who is now in heavy training for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

Lovejoy, who attended Sylvan Hills primary and secondary schools in Cascade, suffered a major spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident in 1986.

"I had never swam a day in my life until after I got hurt," Lovejoy said. But after many sessions of water therapy at the Shepherd Center, Lovejoy contacted swimming coach Tommy Jackson to train him for competition.

Lovejoy won his first of nine Paralympic medals in Sydney, Australia, in 2000. Today, he holds 11 world records, 14 American records and 14 Pan–American records in swimming.

"He's an inspiration to me," said Jackson, who also coaches the Atlanta Dolphins swim team, which trains at Adamsville Rec as well. "The main thing I do is keep him focused and free of distractions, so he can do what he has to do."

Lovejoy also coaches the Shepherd Sharks, a group of swimmers who have undergone therapy at Shepherd.

"Swimming is life," Lovejoy said. "This is the only sport that requires the discipline to show up every single day and train. No excuses are allowed; no 'I'm having a bad day or I'm too tired.'

"The skills you develop in swimming are the same ones you use in life."


Curtis Lovejoy's Achievements

  • 2011, Silver Medal, 50m freestyle, Pan Pacific Para-Olympic Games
  • 2008: U.S. Paralympic Team member, Swimming - Paralympic Games, Beijing, China
  • Currently holds 11 world records: 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle; 50m backstroke, 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke; 50m and 100m butterfly; 150m and 200m individual medley
  • 2008: Gold medal and world record, 50m breaststroke; silver medal, 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle; bronze medal, 50m freestyle - IPC World Cup, Manchester, England
  • 2007: First place, 50m freestyles, 100m freestyles, 200m freestyle - U.S. Paralympics Open Swimming Championships, College Park, Md.
  • 2006: Gold medal, 150m individual medley; Two bronze medals, 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle - International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships, Durban, South Africa
  • 2006: Gold medal, Men's Foil (Category C) - IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships, Torino, Italy
  • 2005: First place, 50m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 150 individual medley; Second place, 50m freestyle; Third place, 100m backstroke - U.S. Paralympics Open Swimming Championships, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • 2004: Silver medal, 100 freestyle; Bronze medal, 50 breaststroke - Paralympic Games, Athens, Greece
  • 2002: Elected as "Icon of Paralympics in Swimming" by USA Swimming
  • 2000: Two gold medals, 50m freestyle (WR), 100m freestyle (WR); Eighth place, team saber (fencing) - Paralympic Games, Sydney, Australia


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