For Justin Gallegos, the thought of becoming a professional athlete was like the ‘thought of climbing Mount Everest’.
Born with cerebral palsy, Gallegos had to use a walker as a toddler. Using running as a mode of physical therapy, Gallegos started long-distance running seven years ago.
The University of Oregon student and a member of the university’s running club had been working with Nike on a pair of shoes for runners with disability, and had also been gearing up to run a half-marathon in less than two hours. He ran his first marathon in April and his second one in September.
On Saturday, Gallegos had been out running like any other day. The cameras that had been stationed were not just there to capture him running, but to film his surprise at what was to follow next.
Gallegos broke down when it was announced that he was offered a professional contract by Nike. In the process, the 20-year-old became the first Nike athlete with cerebral palsy.
His reaction, the emotions that followed, when he was offered the contract in a folder by John Douglass, Nike’s Insights Director, was priceless. Dreams do come true.