This past weekend at the Broadmoor Hotel & Resort in Colorado Springs, London 2012 Paralympic Games Bronze medalist, Dartanyon Crockett, took the stage and wowed an audience of 300 corporate attorneys with his uplifting story.
Life has been challenging for Dartanyon, but it is his attitude toward obstacles what makes this athlete such an admirable man. Having grown up in abject poverty and health issues hand in hand, it appeared that he would make the same mistakes of those around him. Dartanyon’s unique story started at a very early age when he was diagnosed with Leber’s disease, a degenerative condition that has resulted in his vision loss. At the age of 8, he lost his mother and was left in an unstable home with his father, a recovering addict that is currently sober and Dartanyon’s biggest supporter and fan. “I’m just seeing it all as a challenge God has given me and how I’m going to react to this challenge,” said the Paralympic Bronze Medalist.
Long time friend, Leroy Sutton, joined Crockett on stage along with Lisa Fenn to talk about very personal subjects such as poverty, disability and purpose. Leroy, who lost both legs in a train accident on his way to wrestling practice, knows about perseverance just as much as Dartanyon. The message through the eyes of people, who are living proof, had the whole room grappling with strong emotion. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including the crew,” said one of the attorneys from the Law Firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Inspiration was what attendees sought, and when Leroy and Lisa joined Dartanyon on stage, they more than delivered.
It was the heart-felt stories of these two successful athletes that put into perspective what is truly important in life. They demonstrate that while poverty can derail a bright young man’s ambitions; love, family, dedication and unconditional support can heal any wound and enable the formation of exemplary citizens.
“I want to fight to the best of my ability and leave it all on the mat. I want to go home with no regrets,” said Dartanyon as he looks to the future, hoping to compete through 2020.