Wheelchair rugby player Delvin McMillian was first named to the United States National team in December 2010 during a tryout at the Lakeshore Foundation, a fitness, recreation, and sports facility for individuals with disabilities that is also a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site.
McMillian remembers the moment vividly: “I was overwhelmed when they called my name during the team selection announcement.”
McMillian’s journey to elite Paralympic sports was more than 9 years long at that time. He contracted Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in 2001 while serving in the Air Force, a life-threatening illness that caused several of his organs to fail and led to amputations of both legs, one hand, and part of the other.
“You have to adapt and overcome,” he says, and he started playing wheelchair rugby in 2005. The sport, on a national level, is also called “quad rugby” because it’s played by athletes with disabilities in all four limbs.
When he’s not competing, Delvin works as an administrative assistant at Lifecare of Alabama. He’s been featured in Sports Illustrated several times, and is proud to be part of the Lakeshore Foundation’s team, the Demolition – a fitting name in a sport as rough and “take no prisoners” as wheelchair rugby.
Delvin will be posting and blogging for MEDAL QUEST in April.