Paralyzed Ex-Olympian Jamie Nieto Walks Down Aisle On Wedding Day Despite Doctors’ Doubts
After Ex-Olympian, high jumper Jamie Nieto suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed, doctors weren’t optimistic he would ever be able to take another step, much less walk again but Nieto defied odds and walked down the aisle by himself on his wedding day Saturday.
“I knew I was going to make a full recovery. There was never a doubt,” Nieto told NBC Sports.
Nieto and Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart got engaged after the accident and the two-time Olympian promised his fiancé that he would be ready to walk on the day of their wedding.
To fulfill his promise, Nieto worked extra hard, going through physical therapy and difficult workouts five times a week to regain strength on his legs.
“I had the mental capacity to fight to the end,” said Nieto. “I’m still trying to push those boundaries and limits,” he added.
The ex-olympian drew inspiration from Stoddart who had never left his side even after the accident. Stoddard was there to feed him, change, him, and move him during the times he was unable to do these things on his own.
“As I get better and better, she has to do less and less. She’s done so much for me,” Nieto shared.
A few months before his wedding day, Nieto’s promise to walk down the aisle seemed impossible but his diligence and will power resulted in drastic improvement.
“People keep saying my recovery is really fast,” Nieto shared. “I feel like it’s not fast enough. I want to be better tomorrow. I’m built for speed, not for going slow. But I’m working on being the best walker I can be,” he added.
Stoddart is also not the type who will let Nieto give up.
“I keep pushing him forward. After he [walks down the aisle], I’m going to be like, ‘OK, now jog. Now run.’ I continue to push him so he can be the best he can be,” Stoddart told NBC Sports.
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