Garfield School was very lucky to have Olympic Gold Medalist and Garfield parent, Mr. Brian Bell come to speak to them today about his experiences as an Olympian. Brian recently returned from Rio, where he competed in the Paralympic Games as a member of the U.S.A. Wheelchair Basketball Team.
Before he lost part of his leg at a young age, Brian enjoyed playing basketball. He did not let this change, instead, he learned how to play basketball in a wheelchair. He shared that it took a lot of practice and hard work, but it has been worth it for him. Not only did he win a gold medal in the Paralympic Games in Rio this summer but he also plays wheelchair basketball internationally. He will be going back to Italy soon to play there.
His wheelchair is made specifically for him, no one else would be able to use it. It is different than a regular wheelchair because its wheels are angled, which is what helps the chair turn in circles when he plays. The students were really impressed with his skills maneuvering the wheelchair and dribbling & shooting the basketball.
Brian wore his Olympic gear and of course brought his gold medal to show. For the first time this year, the medals were made so visually impaired people could tell the difference between gold, silver and bronze medals. Not only do each of them have Braille on them for identification purposes, but when they are shook, they each make a different sound.
Garfield was honored to have Brian Bell speak to the students and staff today and to share his experience. Everyone learned a few new things today!