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  • WSOC Charlotte

    Charlotte native to compete in Paralympics after losing leg in boating accident

    By Almiya White,

    29 days ago

    One day on Lake Norman changed one Charlotte man’s life forever. Carson Clough lost part of his leg in a boating accident.

    Now, five years later, he’ll be competing in the 2024 Paralympic Games.

    Channel 9′s Almiya White spoke with Clough, where he explained why this was never even a dream of his.

    “I have a whole new athletic adventure that I could go on,” Clough said.

    It’s an adventure that is taking Clough to Paris to compete in the Paralympics. But he said he never imagined his life would bring him to this moment.

    ALSO READ: ‘It’s OK not be OK’: Charlotte athlete sets world record at Paralympics in Tokyo

    “I was in a boat accident up on Lake Norman, not too far from here. And that’s where I got my old peg leg,” Clough said.

    That boating accident in 2019 left the 30-year-old Charlotte native with a below-the-knee amputation.

    Born with natural athletic capabilities, Carson had to learn how to stand, walk, and run again.

    “I just started to put myself in a position where there is nothing to lean on. You just have to go forward,” Clough explained.

    Two short years after learning how to walk again, Clough competed in this first-ever triathlon.

    “I’ve been able to get into some national races and qualify for international races. And then this past March, I was able to win the race in Miami. That qualified me for the Paralympics,” Clough said.

    ALSO READ: Special Olympics makes a difference for athletes, organizers

    In the Paralympics, each category depends on the disability you have, and Clough was the only American para-triathlete that qualified.

    “I’ll swim, bike, and run. So the whole triathlon, and it’s a sprint distance, so it’s about a half-mile swim, a half-mile bike, and then a 3.1-mile run,” Clough elaborated.

    So as he prepares to compete in a few months, Clough is spending 25 to 30 hours a week physically training.

    “Just a new challenge. And it is every day ... a very new challenge,” Clough said.

    And while Clough never imagined that his life would take this turn, he said he’s honored to wear the USA on his chest and bring home the gold.

    Clough will be competing in the Paris Paralympics in September. You can donate towards his journey here .

    VIDEO: ‘It was emotional’: Charlotte athlete sets world record at Paralympics in Tokyo

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