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Paracanoeing: Shad Isaac looks to master the water

Multi-time wheelchair racing champion turns his focus to paracanoeing at the Canoe-Kayak Flatwater Sprint Team Trials on the Oklahoma River.
by Ed Godfrey Published: April 26, 2013

/articleid/3803670/1/pictures/2037303">Photo - Sherry Andrusiak carries a kayak for Shad Isaac, 22, as he rolls his wheelchair along the dock. Athletes during a morning practice session for this weekend's USA Canoe/Kayak Trials for Flatwater Sprint.  Photo taken on the Oklahoma River, on  Thursday, April 25, 2013. Photo  by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.
Sherry Andrusiak carries a kayak for Shad Isaac, 22, as he rolls his wheelchair along the dock. Athletes during a morning practice session for this weekend's USA Canoe/Kayak Trials for Flatwater Sprint. Photo taken on the Oklahoma River, on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.

Spina bifida left Isaac with little use of his legs, chronic muscle weakness and only one kidney. Sports has made the biggest difference in his life.

“I can't even tell you how much he has overcome,” Linda Isaac said. “If it weren't for Greater Oklahoma Disabled Sports (Association), I really don't think he would have come as far as he has.

“The sports have been his saving grace. It's kept him healthy. They have built up his self-esteem. He thinks he can do anything.”

Even be the fastest on the water. He has only been training with the OKC RIVERSPORT junior sprint team for a month and is competing in the Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Sprint Team Trials against seasoned paracanoe racers.

Unlike on the track, Isaac knows he may be seeing competitors in front of him for a change. He finished third in his only race Friday and has two more races Saturday.

“He told me, ‘Mom, I have only done this a month so I am probably going to be at the back of the pack, but they better watch out for me next year,'” Linda Isaac said. “That's the attitude he has.”

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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