Edmond athlete Jeremy Campbell will take the world's stage this month at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The 24-year-old discus thrower will compete in the Paralympics representing the USA for the second time and hopes to break his own world record, one he set in June at the 2012 UCO Endeavor Games in Edmond. The games begin Aug. 29.
“I'm more than ready to go over there and compete and do my best,” Campbell said in an interview with The Oklahoman via Skype. He was training at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Campbell competes wearing a high-tech carbon fiber prosthetic leg, not unlike the two worn by South African Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who inspired the world with his Olympic performances this summer.
Campbell's leg also is strikingly similar to and made by the same prosthetics company as the tail of a famous dolphin, Winter, who inspired and starred in the movie “Dolphin Tale.”
A competitive nature
Campbell has always competed without the benefit of a natural right leg — he was born without a fibula in his right leg. Doctors decided to amputate the leg when he was 1.
That didn't stop Campbell. He played varsity football, baseball and basketball in high school in Perryton, Texas, wearing various prosthetic devices and breaking dozens in the process.
“This is all I know,” Campbell told The Oklahoman in 2010 as he prepared for the UCO Endeavor Games. “This is real to me. I don't know anything different.”
His brother Caleb Campbell is a professional football player for the Kansas City Chiefs. His other brother, Jacob Campbell, is a famous bull rider.
Campbell has several prosthetic legs. Some look lifelike, some are for performance. The one he'll wear for his Paralympic competitions is a sleek carbon fiber model, specially designed by prosthetist Chad Simpson of Hanger Clinic in Oklahoma City. The leg has a spring built into the side of it for shock absorption, Simpson said.
Simpson first met Campbell at the 2003 UCO Endeavor Games. That year would turn out to be the first of 10 consecutive years Campbell has competed in the Games, setting several world records along the way.