Going for the Gold

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

He works out at Lifetime Fitness at the Augusta Medical Center three times a week.

"I swim a half-mile," said Mount Sidney resident Joe Christmas. "I don't lift too heavy, because of my age. I'm 63."

Christmas is training for September's Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. He lost his legs in an electrical accident 30 years ago.

"I'd like to have my legs, but life's gotta go on, you know?" he said. "And I do my best."

"It would be hard for anybody to exercise like he does, at 63," said Sharon Stiteler, an instructor at AMC Lifetime Fitness. "But he makes a point, and he's very determined."

Joe has already competed in three Paralympic Games, winning bronze medals in the javelin and discus at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.

He will compete in the javelin, discus, and shot-put in this year's games, which start Sept. 17. And this time, he has his eyes on a bigger prize.

"Well, I hope I can win all three gold medals, but I know it's gonna be a tough competition," he smiled.

"I'm gonna give them a run for their money."


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