N.C. wheelchair curler looks ahead to 2026 Paralympics

N.C. wheelchair curler looks ahead to 2026 Paralympics


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The dream to compete in the Winter Paralympics is alive and well for a North Carolina man.

 

What You Need To Know

Bobby Faircloth joined the Charlotte Curling Association seven years ago

Faircloth was on the U.S. national team for two years representing North Carolina as one of 12 members in the country

Faircloth recently tried to qualify for a spot on Team USA for the 2022 Winter Paralympics

 

As the clock strikes 9 a.m., Bobby Faircloth begins his journey to a Monroe gym.

“I just keep myself in shape,” Faircloth said. “Keep going, keep pushing on.”

His competitive drive to win a gold medal as a U.S. Paralympian one day pushes him through the struggles of using a wheelchair.

“It’s just part of the routine. Now it’s just an everyday thing,” Faircloth said.

Faircloth’s life changed about nine years ago as he was installing blinds for his job.

“As I was going into a house with my equipment I got stung on the ankle by a bee,” Faircloth said. “I’m allergic to bees.”

Faircloth says the sting didn’t bother him at first. But as he was driving home, he went into anaphylactic shock and collided with a semitrailer truck.

“They [doctors] said that I wasn’t going to live through the night and if I did, I would be paralyzed from the chest down,” Faircloth said. “But so far, I’m two for two – I’m alive and still pushing to walk.”

Faircloth’s determination keeps him coming back to the gym three times a week. He’s proving to himself and others that he can be just as independent as he was before his accident.

“If anybody in this gym sees he’s in a wheelchair and he’s working out, why can’t I?” Faircloth said.

During his trip to the gym, Faircloth visits a couple of weight machines and uses a walker to get in some cardio. He hopes one day he can do so freely and unassisted.

“This is what motivates me,” Faircloth said. “I know I’m getting stronger.”

It’s a force he maintains in the gym and on the ice where he slides a 42-pound curling stone across the room at the Charlotte Curling Association.

Faircloth started playing the sport seven years ago. He’s part of three leagues and played on the U.S. national team for two years representing North Carolina as one of 12 members in the country.

“It was just a proud moment; how many people can say they got to represent the United States of America as an athlete?” Faircloth said. “That’s a goal, I reached it and it’s pretty awesome.”

He recently tried to qualify for a spot on Team USA for the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

“They took five people and I was number six,” Faircloth said. “So, I was just out of it.”

But he’s not giving up because he believes he’ll get there.

“My wife, I call her my hero,” Faircloth said. “She supports anything I do, and she’s a good reason why I’m at where I’m at now because she didn’t baby me … she just said you got to go get it if you want it, and I did.”

Faircloth says he’s planning on competing again for a spot on Team USA’s 2026 Winter Paralympics team for the games in Italy.



Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.