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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Paralympic athlete to address finding ‘new normal’ in the aftermath of tragedy

John+Register+won+a+silver+medal+in+the+long+jump+at+the+Paralympic+games+in+2000.
Photo by Provided

John Register won a silver medal in the long jump at the Paralympic games in 2000.

John Register was an All-American track star in college with plans to compete in the Olympics, when the unthinkable happened — after being deployed to Southwest Asia, he suffered a crippling injury that led to the amputation of his left leg in 1994.

Eighteen months after his injury, Register competed in the 1996 Paralympics, and four years later won the silver medal in long jump. Today Register owns Inspired Communications International, a company that provides motivational speeches and presentations to businesses, schools, non-profit organizations and athletic teams. Register will visit A&M Wednesday to give a motivational lecture titled “Overcoming Adversity” as a part of the 2016 Health and Kinesiology Distinguished Lecture Series.

Dell Billings, administrative coordinator for the Department of Health and Kinesiology, said the lecture series was created to bring top-notch speakers to A&M.

“We have been doing this lecture series since 2010 to bring scholars from all over the country, and sometimes even all over the world,” Billings said. 

Billings said Register’s lecture will be a valuable part of this year’s series, because it can impact a wide range of students.

“I think he has a motivational message that can resonate with a lot of our student population,” Billings said. “It can resonate with those without disabilities, as well those those with disabilities. The idea is you just don’t let anything stop you and the only thing stopping you is yourself.”

Register said he believes there is a relationship between the speaker and the audience, which is why he tries to speak with students before and even during his lectures. Register said he tries to develop speeches based on his audience.

“I usually go in different directions after I get in there and talk to some of the students, and hear their heart of where they are,” Register said. “That may come speaking to a student as they walk in, or partway through the presentation … Most lecturers tend to talk at the audience. I believe that we are in a learning experience; a shared experience together.” 

Register’s lecture will center around the idea of creating a “new normal” after facing adversity.

 “I will challenge them to think about who it is that most inspires them to be who they are today,” Register said.  “Finally, I will leave them with a challenge of how to build the path for themselves for success as well as how to help someone else get there too.”

This year’s Distinguished Lecture Series will be in conjunction with the Texas chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, said Billings. “Overcoming Adversity” will begin at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday as a part in the DLS/TACSM annual meeting, which will run until Friday and host 20 visiting speakers.

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