Becoming a Olympian
Christopher was born with cerebral analysis, also known as CP.”I was born with it. We think it came from a lack of oxygen from the umbilical cord being wrapped around my neck.” This traumatic brain injury has affected the entire left side of Ahrens’ body, but he has never let it stop him from doing what he wanted. Chris started playing soccer at the age of four, and learned about the Paralympics soccer team at SUNY College of Brockport. Chris’ team did not qualify for the 2006 Paralympics in Beijing, but went on to qualify for the 2012 games in London.
Christopher decided to go to college to become an adapted physical education teacher, helping kids with disabilities develop physical and motor skills, fundamental motor skills (throwing, catching, walking, and running), skills in aquatics, dance, and individual/group games and sports. Ahrens currently works at a school in San Diego.
By examining some of Christopher’s tweets it can de determined that he is a very family oriented person. Through tweets mentioning his family and pictures from family events like a wedding show this. Also his work out partner and best friend is his dog Match.
Choice of Sport: Soccer 7-a-side
Soccer 7-a-side is for athletes who have cerebral analysis, other brain injuries, or strokes. Unlike a typical soccer field Christopher plays on a field that is 75 x 55 meters. Christopher Ahrens’ career highlights are as followed:
- 2012 London Paralympics
- 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup/3rd Place
- 2011 CPISRA World Championships/8th place
- 2010 Copa America/2nd place
- 2009 Intercontinental Cup/11th place
- 2007 CPISRA World Championships/10th place
- 2007 Parapan-American Games/ 4th place
Love for the Game
Chris fits in perfectly with his teammates he is always the first one to “push them” or “tell them they did well in practice”, and never allows them to give up. It was disappointing for Chris to come so close to playing in the 2006 Beijing Paralympics, but he didn’t give up and helped his team place in multiple competitions around the world to qualify them for the 2010 London Paralympics. Chris is so dedicated that he also works on the Olympic committee where he Represent athletes from goalball, wheelchair basketball, quad rugby, soccer, and sitting volleyball on the Athlete Advisory Council. He also communicates information between the USOC and athletes, and collaborates with both Olympic and Paralympic representatives on Strategic Plan Initiatives for the current quadrennial.
Like any other activity there is always a level of competition. Chris takes losses very well always stating the positives of the game, but still upset that the team had lost. There is a very small margin of games that Chris can participate in so when he is able to play is very serious as well as fun. That is a key factor in his love for the game and why he wanted to play on the Paralympic team because of the fun. Everyone has that competitive edge, but when everything is over with the Paralympic teams all support each other.
Chris participated in the Summer Paralympics 2012 in London. His family was extremely proud of him. Chris’ niece even brought pictures of him to her school to show all her friends. Although the Soccer team did not participate in the Winter Paralympics this past year, Chris and his team were in attendance. Although they did not compete in the games they did play against other country’s soccer teams that were also in attendance. Both trips take a lot of time, planning, and money and there was no information on how Chris paid for the trips, but can be assumed that he sis pay for some of it.
Christopher Ahrens has taken something that he loves and turned into inspiration for children all over the world. He represents that any dream can be accomplished no matter the obstacle; giving up should never be an option because if you keep trying sooner or later you’ll make it. Chris’ twitter page truly shows his love not only for the game, but for all Paralympic games. Countless retweets and comments where Chris supports the other teams is prominent throughout his page. Chris represent his pride for our country by participating in a sport that he more than enjoys and considers in an “honor”, he shows the type of work ethic all Americans should have.
Kathleen Stacey 1