Matt Brown (paralympic athlete)

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Matthew S. "Matt" Brown
Born (1976-11-24) November 24, 1976 (age 37)
Residence Idalou, Lubbock County, Texas, United States
Occupation

High school football and track and field coach

Track and field athlete
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Olivia Brown
Parents Charles N. and Janet Ladell Brown

Matthew S. Brown, known as Matt P.F. Brown (born November 24, 1976), is a football and track and field coach at Idalou High School in Idalou in Lubbock County, Texas, who is a gold and bronze winner in the Parapan American Games. Brown's left leg was amputated above the knee because of an accidental industrial explosion in December 2005.

In September 2007, Brown won a gold medal in the discus, having set a record throw of 154 feet and 9 inches, and a bronze in the shot put at the Parapan games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[1] He has also competed in the Paralympic Games in Beijing, China in 2008, where he finished fourth in the men's discus. The Parapan and Paralympic competitions are held every four years.[2]

Brown graduated from Idalou High School, where he played football, basketball, baseball, and competed in track and field. He was an All-State tight end in football, All-District center in basketball, and a two-time state champion in the discus and shot put. He graduated from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, the seat of Hale County, north of Lubbock. He played football at Wayland for two years and was an All-American in track and field there. He now coaches both sports at his alma mater.[2]

Brown trains for competition six days per week for three to four hours daily. His goal is to win two gold medals and to break the world record in discus, which is 47.81 meters. "I have a chance to break the record, and I think I can do it", Brown said in a 2008 interview with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.[3] He has prosthetic legs for both walking and running. He has nerve pain caused from the trauma of the explosion. He must also obtain regular service maintenance of his limbs through a health-care company in Lubbock.[3]

Brown said that community support for his competition has been "unbelievable". The Idalou Independent School District allowed him to miss several weeks for the competition in China, to which he was accompanied by his parents, Charles N. and Janet Ladell Brown. Mrs. Brown said that the tragedy of losing his leg strengthened her son's Christian faith. "It's been a wonderful opportunity to witness and show other people that through God's help life continues on even in the face of adversity ... and that life can be a better life", she told the Avalanche-Journal. She describes Matt as an inspiration to the students he coaches at Idalou because he is not "angry with God about the loss of his leg but has grown in spirituality." Brown said that he never expected to go to China: "Losing my leg has been a blessing in disguise, and I just want to do the best I can."[3]

Brown's story was carried in 2008 and repeated in 2009 in a segment entitled "Discus Discussion" of Bob Phillips's syndicated anthology television series, Texas Country Reporter.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Faces in the Crowd". Sports Illustrated.com, October 22, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Matthew Brown". usparalymics.org. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Maggie Gilchrest, "Idalou’s Brown turns tragedy into triumph", August 24, 2008". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Episode guide, Texas Country Reporter, June 13, 2009". texascountryreporter.com. Retrieved September 19, 2009.