Ezra Frech competes during the Men's High Jump T63 Final at the IPC World Para Athletics Championships 2019 Dubai on Nov. 14, 2019 in Dubai.
Ezra Frech can pinpoint the exact moment that competing at the Paralympics became his dream. He has always been an extremely active kid, participating in just about every sport in the book. But for Ezra, it was the 2016 Paralympics that changed his life.
He was watching one of the track sessions in the living room with his family and couldn’t believe how immediately inspired he felt.
“I went outside and immediately set up all these boxes stacked really high, and just jumped over them and over them because I was just fueled with motivation. I had my mom record a video and I was like ‘Hi everyone, I’m Ezra Frech and this is my first official training session for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics,’ ” he laughed.
Ezra recalled seeing so many familiar faces, people he had competed against and trained with, who were competing at such a high level. That made it clear to him that he could be right there beside them.
Ezra was born with congenital limb differences, and received his first prosthetic leg at just 11 months old. But that certainly didn’t slow him down. Sports have been his passion since before he could even walk.
“Ezra was mainstream in sports for a really long time, playing a lot of basketball but also flag football and soccer and whatever else he could try,” his dad, Clayton Frech, explained. “But he started track pretty early. We went out to the Endeavor Games - an adaptive sport competition - when he was 8 years old.”
It was actually the Endeavor Games that inspired the Frech family to start an organization of their own in Southern California.
“It was out on the track at the Endeavor Games on a Sunday afternoon when I just asked the question - ‘why do we have to come to Oklahoma to run, jump, throw things, to do Paralympic sports?’ ” Clayton Frech said. “That was in 2013, and I was on a mission after that - chasing down officials and people who knew how to run meets, everything we needed to bring a Games to Los Angeles.”
The inaugural Angel City Games launched in 2015. A multi-sport adaptive sport competition, the organization allows an opportunity for athletes of all ages and abilities to compete in sports.. They put on both clinics and competitions, creating a space for athletes to learn more about each sport and develop relationships within the community in order to find the sport that they can excel at.
“I left the corporate world in 2015 to start Angel City and we’ve kind of dedicated our lives to this movement and making sure no one is left out of sports or left behind for whatever reason,” said Clayton Frech.
This year, the organization made the decision to host the games virtually, thus launching the 2020 Angel City Virtual Games presented by The Hartford. The organization will host a total of three weeks of programming, including virtual clinics, workouts, challenges and even concerts. The second week of programming begins next week on August 3rd and lasts through August 9th, with the final week beginning August 24th. More information can be found here.