Of the 66 athletes representing Team USA in track & field at the 2016 Paralympic Games, one is 19-year-old Michael Brannigan who runs a mile in less than 4 minutes.
When Mikey was a toddler, his mother enrolled him in a running program for kids with special needs, where his talent for running, and speed, became apparent to everyone.
His mother told NBC News,
“I know what running’s done for Mikey. It has allowed him to focus — in such a way that his academics soared after he started running. It was something in his brain was able to calm down and focus on the academics.”
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By age 17 he was considered one of the top 10 runners in the United States. Last year, according to Runners World, Mikey was the first T20 athlete to break the 4 minute mark.
In 2014, Mikey told NBC News,
“I had a dream– a day dream of them. Wearing my USA jersey, and representing my country… and the whole nation… a whole America watching me.”
His dream will come true this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the Paralympics is being held from September 7-18.