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December 3, 2007

A world class marriage

Top Paralympic athletes live, train together

EDMOND — Roderick and Katrin Green met each other in a situation out of a movie: Roderick, an American citizen, and Katrin, a German citizen, were both in Athens. The now-married couple met because they kept running into each other � literally.

�I was doing my starts, and he was constantly running into my lane,� Katrin said. �So I asked him to get out my lane.�

�I was in my lane,� Roderick said, shaking his head. �You just got confused and put your blocks in the wrong lane.�

So perhaps it wasn�t the most conventional of meetings, but Roderick and Katrin aren�t a conventional couple. Both are world-class amputee track and field athletes, and were in Athens to compete in the 2004 Paralympic Games.

After the games, the two went their separate ways: Roderick back to the states, and Katrin to backpack through Australia. They didn't let the distance keep them apart, though.

�We kept in phone contact and e-mail contact. We talked on the phone pretty much every day,� Katrin said before pausing and laughing. �More than once a day, usually, which really got expensive.�

From there, Katrin came to Oklahoma City to see Roderick and visit with him and his family. The original plan was to stay a week, but by her third day Katrin decided to stay longer.

�I postponed my flight until the end of February, and at the end of February I decided that morning, I had my bags packed and all, that I wasn't going to the airport.�

Since then, the two have lived and trained together, as well as continuing with their jobs and school. Roderick works mornings as a youth mentor at the Mid-Del Youth and Family Center, and Katrin is a full-time student at the University of Central Oklahoma, taking summer classes and 18 hours a semester to complete her nursing major and Spanish minor.

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