Autistic U.S. Teen & World Record-Breaking Runner to Compete in Paralympics This Week [video]

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.


Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley &

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