The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Paralympic athlete inspired by O’Neill

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Sep 19, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Sam Borden wrote a touching column in The Journal News today about Nick Springer. Nick lost his arms and legs from meningitis when he was 14. Now 23, he is a member of the U.S. Paralympic rugby team that won a gold medal in China.

His mother, Nancy, passed away as her son was competing. Her dying wish was to see him win.

A lot of times, when you write a story you gather more information than you have space for in the newspaper. Sam had this quotes from Nick about Paul O’Neill that he thought you would find interesting:

“You know, I hate the Yankees. I mean, I’ve always hated the Yankees. But I found myself thinking a lot about Paul O’Neill a lot (while in Beijing). In ’99, they won the World Series but his dad died, and I couldn’t stop thinking about that while I was over there. I don’t give a (damn) about Paul O’Neill or the Yankees, but the thing stuck out at me.

“How did he do it? It’s such a high and a low. How did he do it? He’s trying to play in the World Series, trying to win the World Series with his teammates but he just lost his dad. Dealing with both those things at the same time just seemed so hard. It gave me a total respect for what he did and how he did it.

“I tried to do the same thing. And I imagine it felt the same way for him, just the ups and downs. I mean, when it’s been high, it’s been up in the sky this past week and when it’s been low it’s been absolutely rock, rock-bottom. And dealing with that is really hard.”

Thanks to Sam for passing that along.

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