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Earle Connor

2000 and 2008 Paralympic Champion

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Earle Connor: 2000 and 2008 Paralympic Champion

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Earle had his left leg amputated above the knee at just three months old. But he never shied away from sports, even when it might draw attention to his disability.

When a neighbourhood friend signed up for youth hockey, Earle was right there beside him. Eventually, he became the first disabled athlete to be drafted into the WHL.

While watching the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics on television, he was motivated to start training for the 100m. Within the year, Earle was the Canadian Disabled Athlete of the Year and had set his first 100m World Record. A triumphant Paralympic Gold soon followed in Sydney 2000.

With a lifetime undefeated streak in the 100m, including 18 World Record performances, he’s had to rethink his goals and consider the impossible — breaking the 12-second barrier.

 During the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, Earle set himself in the blocks and waited for the crack of the gun. In front of him was the moment he had been training for over the past twelve years.
 
With 50-metres remaining, Earle took control of the race, speeding past rivals from England and Germany to win his second Paralympic gold.
 
A glance to his left revealed his finishing time – 12.32-seconds, a new Paralympic record. One goal achieved. One to go. 

Earle’s life serves as a resonant example of overcoming physical challenges and he speaks with conviction about his disability, his determination and his pursuit of the impossible.