Fort Smith Hosts "The Battle Of the Blades"

FORT SMITH, Ark. - - Southside High School in Fort Smith hosted the 'Mcdonald's Relays and Battle of the Blades' on Thursday.'

The event brings area high school and paralympic athletes together to compete.

We found out the story of one man who found his purpose again through racing after losing a leg.

Life without a limb for many that would kill their racing career, but not for Cody Johnson.

"I'm not really so much worried about beating other people as much as getting my times," Runner Cody Johnson said.

Johnson, now 26, lost his leg three-years ago, and never thought he would compete again.

Now he's received a specialty sprinting blade to help him achieve his goal of attending the 2020 paralympics in Tokyo for the 100 and 200 meter sprints.

"This foot is actually made for sprinting, the one I have now I kind of a hybrid between sprinting and distance, so this is going to help propel me to where I want to be," Johnson said.

The Battle of the Blades gives people who have lost limbs the chance to prove they're still competitors, and just as capable.

The Head Track Coach of  Southside High School, Steve Peoples said the concept came to him 25 years ago.

" We thought it would be a great idea, certainly for the blade runners but our whole community," Peoples added

Johnson said he actually doesn't even race for himself to win.. he says he does it to prove to others living with disabilities its possible to still dream big.

 "Especially with someone with a disability at first you really don't know what's next at all. I mean after my accident I was 23, so i spent all my life playing sports and being active and i had no idea what was next, so being able to do this is a great sense of purpose," Johnson said.

 

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