Olympian Overcomes Paralysis To Walk At Wedding After $81,000 Crowdfund

The backflip used to be the signature move of two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto, but in April of last year it became his worst enemy for one short moment. While coaching jumpers at Azusa Pacific University in California, Nieto attempted to demonstrate his signature move, but after his foot slipped on the track Nieto landed on his neck. He woke up the next morning in the hospital and was almost fully paralyzed; he could barely move his shoulders. Some doctors warned he would never be able to walk again. 

Further complicating the matter, Nieto did not have health insurance. But he was determined to eventually make a complete recovery. To aid his efforts, the track community came together and raised over $81,000 for his medical bills through crowdfunding via AthleteBiz -- the same organization that later set up Gabe Grunewald's crowdfund, which has already raised over $54,000.

Soon after the incident, Nieto proposed to his girlfriend Shevon Stoddart with the promise that on their wedding day he would walk all the way down the aisle unassisted. (Stoddart is no slouch herself: she's a two-time Olympian in the 400m hurdles for Jamaica.)

Yesterday, Nieto made good on his promise, and took his steps up to the altar, completing a huge milestone on his long road to recovery.

"People keep saying my recovery is really fast," Nieto said to the AP. "I feel like it's not fast enough. I want to be better tomorrow. I'm built for speed, not for going slow. But I'm working on being the best walker I can be."

Watch Nieto take his final steps to the altar:


Amy Cragg and Laura Thweatt Added To Chicago Marathon Field

Press Release

How Can The Athletics World Cup Be Improved?

For the United States, the Athletics World Cup this past weekend in London was a success. 

Ben Thomas To Lead Oregon Distance Program

One of the collegiate track and field’s most high-profile jobs is no longer vacant. 

Texas Names Pete Watson As Men's XC/Distance Coach

The University of Texas has named Pete Watson the men's distance and cross country coach. 

Making Sense Of U20s, American Men Dominate The 100m; Weekend Recap

It was a crowded week on the schedule in the world of track and field. The IAAF World U20 Championships spanned six days, the Athletics World Cup occupied the weekend, and Rabat Diamond League took place on Friday. 

U20s Day 6 Recap: Tia Jones Wraps Up U20s With Gold

Earning her second international gold in two seasons and her first IAAF World U20 Championship, Walton High School (GA) junior Tia Jones closed 2018 with quite the performance with a win in the 100 meter hurdles on Sunday in Tampere, Finland. 

Breaking Down The Final Day Of The AAU Club Championships

The final day of the AAU Club National Championships on Saturday was full of record-breaking and elite performances. 

U20s Day 5 Recap: Team USA Finally Lands Gold

The IAAF World U20 Championships have, at times, been a frustrating experience for Team USA.

Day 6 Semifinal Results Promise Epic Ending For AAU Club Nationals

2018 AAU Club Nationals Highlight: 9yo Destyni Devine Breaks Club 200m Record

The sixth day of competition at the AAU Club Championships on Friday was brimming with promising semifinal performances, which bodes well for the final day of competition.

Matthew Centrowitz Joins UW As Volunteer Coach

UW Press Release