After nearly a two-year absence, a big return arrived to the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020. Focus chats! I, co-host Zachary Fenell, am here to tell you more. Get ready for your weekly recap!
A concept originally suggested by community pillar Jorge Oteiza, focus chats center around a particular subject. The Paralympics remained the topic at hand January 22nd. To lead the discussion we welcomed past chat participant and 2016 Paralympian Ayden Jent.
Prior to discussing the Paralympics, we asked Ayden some questions about his athletic background.
My co-host Devin Axtman asked Ayden about what inspired him to start running. Ayden explained his initial interest came from both his parents running in college. That interest reached another level when he began joining his step-father on runs.
Meanwhile I asked Ayden how long he had to work before reaching competition at the national level. “All my life” Ayden answered in-part, adding wearing braces, casts, physical therapy, and botox injections all helped prepare him to get to that point.
Within his answer to me, Ayden also mentioned stumbling upon the Paralympics. After a follow-up question, Ayden clarified he discovered the Paralympics when he came across a Youtube video featuring a fellow runner with CP named Michael Mckillop. Thankfully Paralympic awareness seems to continue increasing, at least according to Ayden.
Ayden addressed knowledge about the Paralympics’ existence when I asked if he finds people often confuse the Paralympics with the Special Olympics. Alongside three crying with laughter emojis, Ayden replied “All the time!!!!” However, Ayden showed an optimistic outlook saying commercials and the United States Olympic Committee changing their name to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee enables more people to realize the two games are different.
Elsewhere in the conversation Devin asked about the classification system the Paralympics use.
While too late to get in a question for our Paralympics focus chat, you could still try tweeting Ayden on your own. He did express enjoyment in answering our questions.
Looking ahead, who else would you like to see #CPChatNow host a Q & A with? Actually, that sounds like a great extend-the-conversation question! Make sure to answer below. “Who would you like to see #CPChatNow host a Q & A with?”
Your answers will help us plan the best possible focus chats!
Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!