Swimmer survivor of Haven Shepherd bomb blast ‘just having fun’ at Games-Sports News, Firstpost

Shepherd was 14 months old and living in rural Vietnam when her birth parents – who were told they were having an affair and couldn’t get married – decided to kill themselves and the child’s.

Tokyo: American swimmer Haven Shepherd lost her legs as a baby after her parents detonated a bomb meant to kill the whole family.

This week at her first Paralympic Games in Tokyo, the optimistic teenager said her goals were all to “get out and have some fun.”

Shepherd was 14 months old and living in rural Vietnam when her birth parents – who were told they were having an affair and couldn’t get married – decided to kill themselves and the child’s.

They attached themselves to a bomb, held Haven and detonated the device, killing themselves instantly and blowing up their baby girl 12 meters (40 feet) from their hut.

She survived, although doctors were forced to amputate her legs. Six months later, she was adopted by an American family who took her to Missouri to start a new life.

Now 18, she described her Tokyo Games debut last Saturday as “a surreal moment”.

“It’s something you’ve been talking about with your family for five years, and it finally happened,” she said of her first race, where she finished fifth in the SM8 200m individual medley.

“I’m just going out and having fun. I know I’m here and I did. I hit my goal of making it to the Paralympics.”

Shepherd also swam in the SB7 100m breaststroke heats on Wednesday morning, missing out on a berth in the final.

However, she is thrilled to have the Paralympic Games in the international spotlight and says she is “open” to telling her story to the world.

This ease with her distressing history comes from her foster mother, she says, who didn’t hesitate to respond when five-year-old Haven suddenly asked her where she was from at bath time.

“Some people don’t even know their story – I think the reason I’m who I am today is because I learned who I was before I lived this life,” she said. .

Shepherd says she readily accepted the explanation and that she “understood on a deeper level” what had happened to her.

And she never felt any resentment towards her birth parents, claiming that she only sympathized with her late mother.

“I have always watched my mother’s sacrifice – what did she lose when she lost her life? She must have lost her baby,” she said.

“I got to live an amazing life in America and throw birthday parties and Christmas videos. I got to experience this amazing childhood.”

Growing up in Missouri with six siblings, Shepherd says she never felt left out because of her disability.

She describes putting on her prosthetic legs as no different than wearing glasses, and says her disability never held her back.

She started swimming at the age of 10 and quickly fell in love with the sport.

“Swimming means everything to me,” she said.

“This could be the tenth workout of the week and I’m just tired of my dog ​​and don’t want to go but I still can’t wait because it gives me time to be away from my phone and my legs and to worry about things to do later. “

“It gives you such a feeling of peace,” she added.

After years of training for Tokyo, Shepherd can’t wait to take a break from the Games and just be “a normal 18-year-old”.

She “definitely” intends to compete again in Paris in three years, but refuses to put pressure on herself in terms of results.

“My expectations are the same as I am – I just go out and have fun,” she said.

“I never took myself too seriously, and why would I do this now?”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *