Gregory Bull/Associated Press
Runner Justin Gallegos became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike.
Gallegos, a junior at the University of Oregon and a member of the school’s running club, made the announcement on Oct. 6, which was World Cerebral Palsy Day.
“Today I made Nike history and became the very first athlete with Cerebral Palsy to sign a contract with Nike!,” Gallegos wrote on Instagram. “You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes! Signing this contract was a huge success for me and I would not have made it without my friends and family and teammates! This was perhaps the most emotional moment in my seven years of running! Growing up with a disability, the thought of becoming a professional athlete is as I have said before like the thought of climbing Mt. Everest!”
In the spring, Gallegos set out to finish his first ever half-marathon in under two hours. That journey was chronicled by Nike as part of its Breaking2 project:
Gallegos ultimately finished the 13.1-mile run just shy of his goal and logged a time of 2:03:49.
“This will be something that I will remember forever, not only setting a record, but showing everyone that it is possible to be limitless!” Gallegos wrote on Instagram on April 29. “It doesn’t matter what others say or do, your only limit is your mind!”