Quadriplegic swimmer leans on love to push forward


The following is one man’s experience, through two parallel stories.

The first story is of a swimmer named Dillon Connolly, a record-setter at Sprayberry High School in Marietta and the University of Southern California. He qualified for Olympic trials and then decided to train professionally.

Then in September, he had an accident.

“I remember everything,” Connolly says. “I dove into a wall of sand, basically.”

Connolly was surfing with friends this summer and crashed into a sandbar, fracturing vertebrae in his neck.

“I was lying face down in the water floating there,” he said. “I couldn’t figure out how to move my body, and then I realized, ‘I actually don’t know how to move anything.'”

He is currently pushing through therapy at Shepherd Center, accepting the unknown road ahead.

“You took everything for granted,” said Connolly. “Like, I haven’t been able to scratch my face since the accident.”

See 11alive.com

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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