Transcript: Remarks by Para-Olympian Chris Devlin-Young at the Republican National Convention
Edited by Jenny Jiang
Transcript of remarks by Chris Devlin-Young, Para-Olympian, at the Republican National Convention on Aug. 29, 2012:
“Thank you. It’s wonderful to be with you tonight.
“In 1982, while flying in heavy fog during a Coast Guard mission, our plane crashed, leaving me paralyzed from the waist down. While my career as a Coast Guardsman ended, a new world of service began for me.
“27 years ago, this California boy was introduced to ski racing at the first Veterans Administration Winter Sports clinic. I decided then and there to dedicate myself to racing and coaching other injured veterans.
“Being a gold medal Paralympian gives me a whole new way to honor and serve my country. Being the coach of paralympic medalists gives me a way to honor and serve others.
“I believe that we can all serve no matter what our challenges. Because it’s not about what you’ve lost in life but rather what you are able to give.
“And now, it is my honor to introduce a hero who has given of himself regardless of the price. He is the son and grandson of admirals, a decorated naval pilot, a war hero, and the senior senator from the great state of Arizona — Senator John McCain.”
Christopher Devlin-Young (born December 26, 1961) is an American alpine ski racer and two time Paralympic Champion, who resides in Campton, New Hampshire. He competes as a monoskier in the LW 12-1 class.
A 1982 plane crash, while he was serving in Alaska with the Coast Guard, completely paralyzed Devlin-Young from the knees down, partially paralyzed him below his waist. He was introduced to skiing and racing at the first Veterans Administration Winter Sports clinic 19 years ago and in keeping with his personal promise to give back, he coached the first race development camp for injured veterans. Devlin-Young says he has “dedicated myself to learning all I can about disabled skiing and teaching that knowledge to others.”
One of Devlin-Young’s greatest career highlights came off the mountain when he was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame with baseball player Troy Glaus and football star LaDainian Tomlinson. When not skiing and training, Devlin-Young builds wheelchair-accessible furniture.