Brandon resident and 28-year-old below-knee amputee, David Prince, is joined by Hanger Clinic prosthetist, Don Smith, just days prior to Prince departure to London, as a member of the 2012 U.S. National Paralympic Track and Field Team. Prince stopped in for a final adjustment of his carbon-fiber prosthetic leg to be ready for the upcoming race.
After three weeks of intense training in preparation for what will likely be one of the biggest and most prestigious events of his life, 28-year-old below-knee amputee, David Prince, a Brandon resident, will soon travel to London as a member of the 2012 U.S. National Paralympic Track and Field Team.
Prince is one of 1,100 athletes competing for one of the 170 gold medals across 96 track, 70 field and four road events. Prince will compete in the Men’s 400m middle distance track event.
“It is an honor to attend and to be among the great athletes who would not give up, but worked tirelessly to have a shot at competing at such a high level,” Prince said. “I plan on being very competitive.”
Athletes must take time to get emotionally and physically ready, which in Prince’s case also includes his last prosthetic follow-up appointment at Hanger Clinic, formerly Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, located at 1119 Professional Park Dr. in Brandon.
In 2002, Prince experienced a life-changing motorcycle accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury and the loss of his right leg below-the knee.
Denouncing his reckless lifestyle, Prince decided to focus his energy on triathlons, gaining much success and recognition which led him into the world of running, where he has dominated the circuit for the past three years.
“I went from drugs to sports as I needed a replacement addiction,” Prince said. “I am glad that I did and am thankful for all the help I have received from everyone, including my wife, Jessie.”
To help him increase his speed and compete at a higher level, Prince was fit with a custom-designed carbon-fiber prosthetic leg made specifically for running by Hanger Clinic prosthetist, Don Smith, who has been working with Prince for the past two years.
Smith made adjustments to his patient’s prosthesis to ensure the young athlete’s success in London and mentioned that helping Prince reach the Paralympics is quite humbling.
“Being a part of David’s life and to see him succeed is an experience I will never forget,” Smith said.
Prince has been training locally at IMG Academy where he benefits from therapeutic and rehabilitative technologies from Accelerated Care Plus (ACP), a sister company of Hanger Clinic.
The 2012 London Paralympics scheduled to take place from Wednesday, August 29- Sunday, September 9.
With 21 total events on the roster, there will be no shortage of great competition. According to Olympic officials, more than 2.1 million tickets have already been sold with many more expected to arrive. The athletics events will take place at the Olympic Park – Olympic Stadium.