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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado -Paralympic Champion Jeff Fabry, a role model for many in the archery and Paralympic communities, was selected to Team USA's Team For Tomorrow Ambassador Program.
"I've been fortunate, helping at U.S. Paralympics events over the last 10 years," commented Jeff, who made his Paralympic debut in Athens 2004. "I look at it as part of my duties of being an athlete, to help out and get the word spread." As part of the Ambassador program, Jeff visited the Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp at Camp Tuolumme Trails in Groveland, California last week.
Jeff spoke with campers ages 6-17, members of the free camp, about the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle, and shared his story of determination and commitment to returning to the podium for a fourth-straight Paralympic Games this summer in Rio.
"I went up and basically talked to the kids, told them my story and then we got them into physically shooting arrows," shared Jeff. "The majority of the kids could hold the bow and do everything on their own. If they were unable to support the bow, we would hold the bow and if they needed help drawing it back, we also helped them draw it back. We had 37 kids all with Muscular Dystrophy and all of them got arrows shot and really seemed to enjoy it."
Jeff also donated a sport package to the Muscular Dystrophy Association camps, including a variety of equipment, such as hula-hoops, basketballs, jump ropes and cones.
"For me, that's what makes the sport great, to see someone else's face light up like mine did when I shot my first arrow," added Jeff. "Once you make something become your life, it's only right to give back, I mean it's opened so many doors and changed my life so much-if I can introduce someone else to the sport, you never know, it might not only open the door to archery, but help them say 'hey I've done this, let's go over here and try this now.'"
Jeff works at Break the Barriers: "I come in and help coach classes, besides archery I also run an air rifle class. We've got a veteran archery class five days a week, youth classes, we do a parent-child class where family members can come in and shoot with their kids, and an adult class, so it's a bit of everything. We also do a visually impaired (VI) class. I've got several kids, we get them set up with the VI stands and get them shooting. They're probably the most competitive out of anyone that comes in here. Every time they shoot-I mean: 'is it in the yellow? Okay I've got this many yellows in class today!' They're just back and forth, it's awesome."
After the camp, Jeff shared: "The kids were so positive, that's what keeps a guy going back and doing this stuff."
Follow Jeff on his Road to Rio with the conclusion of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Trials on Monday, June 27th here. To learn more about adaptive archery opportunities, click here.
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