David Wagner is one of the top wheelchair tennis players in the world, in both singles and doubles. He has been in the top 3 in the world for a decade, as he competed in the Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, winning 2 golds, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medal.
David was a star athlete in high school and college, playing basketball, golf and tennis until he was injured in an accident off the coast of Redondo, CA, in August of 1995. “My buddy and I were on the beach, and I ran into the water and got tossed around by the wave. I landed on my neck and became paralyzed.”
He tried different adaptive sports, including ping pong and tennis, but he wasn’t satisfied with his game until he attended a U.S. Paralyzed Veterans of America tennis camp, where Dan James, Rick Draney and Randy Snow, pioneers in USA wheelchair tennis, were teaching. “I was able to learn from the best of the best in the business at the time and probably in the history of the sport.”
Now Wagner plays 15 or 20 tournaments a year around the world, including Grand Slam tennis events like the US Open, where, in 2010, he was champion in both singles and doubles.
Many times he and doubles partner Nick Taylor also compete against each other in singles. Wagner admits it’s tough playing against a friend. “But you never know with our sport what can happen. Anyone can beat anyone.”
David Wagner has a website at http://www.davidwagner.us/, and is on Facebook and Twitter. He will be blogging for MEDAL QUEST in June and July.