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Endeavor Games: Ryder Gibson, 3, doesn't let paralysis keep him from competing

Father Brian Gibson and mother Christi Gibson said they just heard about Endeavor Games and signed up their son.
BY CHRIS BRANNICK, Staff Writer, Published: June 5, 2013

EDMOND — Brian and Christi Gibson sat in a doctor's office shortly after learning of their pregnancy. That's when they found out their baby was paralyzed, at 18 weeks.

Now 3 years old, Ryder Gibson wouldn't let you know he was paralyzed. In this weekend's Endeavor Games in Edmond, Ryder is scheduled to compete in five different races as well as three field events.

Last summer, Ryder competed in his first Endeavor Games. Brian Gibson said they just heard about the event and signed up their son not knowing what it was all about. Four 5Ks and a handful of one- and two-mile fun runs later, Ryder is hooked on track and field. Ryder completed the 20-meter and 60-meter races in the future's division last year as well as competing in the softball throw.

“He loves training. He loves doing that stuff, racing, competing and practicing,” Brian Gibson said. Ryder took to competition naturally, something he got from his dad, who raced motocross before Ryder was born. Brian said Ryder understands the concept of winning and losing and the first thing he asks when he crosses the finish line is where his medal is.

Whether it's 20, 60, 100 or 200 meters, Ryder is going to compete for his medal, racing to raise awareness for Spina Bifida. The congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbone means nothing to the 3-year old from Edmond.

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