Paracyclist pushes through adversity, lands second place in time - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Paracyclist pushes through adversity, lands second place in time trials

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"Cycling in general improves your health, your fitness but really it improves your morale and we have a lot of athletes who had to overcome physical challenges and cycling is a way for them to do that," said Ian Lawless, Paraolympics.

For riders like Samantha Heinrich, riding is in her blood. "My dream was to get to travel the world and race professionally," said Heinrich.

But a bow tibia in her leg gave her doubts she'd ever achieve that dream. "I had muscle atrophy from it and drop foot so my ankle is pretty much fused now and I have low muscle density from my right to my left leg," said Heinrich.

It caused pain and stiffness in her joints, and made her bones more likely to break in a bike crash. "There's always a little bit of fear especially in road races that something could happen."

She was able to have a bike fitted to her, giving her joints some relief. "I now feel better on the bike than off of it," said Heinrich.

While many told her she couldn't do it, she didn't let the fear keep her from peddling on. "For me it's achieving my dream and not letting anything stop me," said Heinrich.

Heinrich finished in 2nd place with a time of 24:11. The road races will continue Sunday starting at 8 am.

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