The Edmond Sun


December 3, 2007

A world class marriage, Part II

Top Paralympic athletes live, train together



But because she discovered how good she could be, and the more relaxed training she has with Roderick, she can�t imagine not competing.

�Now, I�m just to the point that I see my competition, I see right now I'm second best in the world,� she said. �Why not do this step to become the first? I�m so close and still so far away, and I know my mistakes that I still do, so I know I can improve them. You just see those goals and want to do it better.�

Gaining respect

Despite their success and their dedication, Roderick and Katrin both say they are frustrated by the general view that amputee athletes are not �real athletes.�

�I can tell by the amount of sponsors, on average, that every athlete in Paralympic sports has compared to able-bodied sports,� he said, talking about his own search for sponsorships. �I had a response back saying that amputee and Paralympic athletes weren�t real athletes.�

Roderick knows what it�s like to not only compete with other amputee athletes, but also with able-bodied athletes. He played basketball for Oklahoma Christian University, and tried out � and was offered a spot � on a professional basketball team in Germany while he and Katrin visited there, despite even being called a cripple by one of the other players trying out.

Because of problems with the INS, Roderick and Katrin were unable to stay in Germany so he could play basketball in the league. Despite that, Roderick said he considered it a victory for himself and for amputee athletes.

�I guess it�s going to take more of that as well for people to really respect amputee or Paralympic athletes as a whole,� he said. �I think it�s going to take more people like me going to college and playing ball or more amputees saying they�re going to take it to the next level and play with the able bodies.�

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