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Hector Picard Conquers Triathlons as a Double-Arm Amputee


hector picardWhat an amazing story this is. It's one of pure determination, letting nothing get in the way of conquering a challenge, sport or task. Here is an inspirational story for those out there that wonder if they could ever achieve something that seems so impossible. Hector Picard is a double arm amputee who has become an accomplished triathlete. Most of us take a lot of things for granted, but this amazing athlete sure doesn't!

Can you imagine yourself participating in a sport that requires you to Swim, Bike and Run with no arms?

In 1992, Hector almost lost his life in an accident while on the job as an electrician. After four weeks in a coma, he learned he suffered 13,000 volts through his body that resulted in the complete amputation of his right arm and half his left, as well as 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 40% of his body. At the age of 24, he had to start a new life - a life as a bi-lateral amputee.

"As children we are always encouraged to dream to be anything and everything we want to be, astronauts, cowboys, even professional athletes. Unfortunately, as we grow older dreams fall to realistic goals and responsibilities. My journey as an amputee began with obstacles I would never have imagined. I was an active individual with a family and dreams of just more than merely existing. I needed to find a way to be active again and be there for my family. I did not want to stop living. I wanted to experience life with the same zeal I had before my accident."

hector picardHector's strong support system of family, friends and competition, has helped him through the tough times as well as live a full life. From July 2009 through November 2010 he competed in over 30 triathlon events; everything from Sprints distance races to Half's throughout the state of Florida and the Bahamas. Probably more races than a normal athlete would conquer. In 2010 he became the recipient of the Paul Mitchell Spirit award for Para-triathletes. These days Picard is one of the athletes aided by the Challenged Athlete Foundation. His eventual goal is to one day participate in Kona.

Here is a video of Hector at Ironman 70.3 California this year.


Now days Hector is a motivational speaker. He started DontStopLiving.org as a resource and support system for all individuals with obstacles in lives, whether disabled, going through personal issues or just down on their luck. I want everyone to know that no adversity is too great when you embrace life through hard work and positive thinking, you will overcome anything.

In 2011, Hector will be competing throughout the United States in 5 Ironman 70.3's along with some other event, with an a goal of competing on October 8, 2011 at the Ironman Championships in Hawaii. The goal in competing in these events is to bring awareness to the physically challenged and show their capabilities. Hector wants everyone to know, that no adversity is too great when you embrace life through hard work and positive thinking, you will overcome anything. Below is his 2011 triathlon schedule, check it out, you might get to see him racing at your next race. [Unfortunately, it seems that he did not get his lottery spot for Kona this year]

Date Event Description Distance
Saturday, March 19, 2011 2011 Ironman 70.3 San Juan 70.3
Saturday, April 02, 2011 2011 Ironman 70.3 California 70.3
Sunday, April 10, 2011 Nautica South Beach Triathlon Sprint
Saturday, April 23, 2011 Egg Hunt at CB Smith Park Sprint
Sunday, May 15, 2011 2011 Ironman 70.3 Florida 70.3
Sunday, June 05, 2011 Rotary Pineapple Man in Melbourne Sprint
Sunday, June 19, 2011 DC Triathlon International
Monday, July 04, 2011 Independence Day Triathlon, 
Tradewinds park
Sprint
Sunday, July 10, 2011 2011 Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island 70.3
Sunday, August 07, 2011 Nautica NYC Triathlon/ 
Paratri National Championships
Olympic
Sunday, August 28, 2011 Chicago Triathlon International
Saturday, October 08, 2011 2011 Ironman Hawaii 
(Registration by lottery, TBD)
140.6
Sunday, November 13, 2011 Miami Man International

A few weeks ago he was interviewed by Bob Babbitt and Paul Huddle at The Competitors Radio Show. Hear what he say about his sporting background while growing, the accident, his challenges in life and in triathlon. He can put his bike together in 40-50 minutes. competitorradio.competitor.com/2011/04/hector-picard

He uses hard work and persistence to overcome his obstacles and achieve his goals.

With the help from Matt Long and the I WILL Foundation, Hector's dreams for 2011 have become a reality. The I WILL Foundation has made it possible for him, through bike modifications, to compete on a level playing field.

For more information on Hector, visit www.dontstopliving.org or on Facebook. To learn more about the I WILL Foundation visit www.iwillfoundation.com.