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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

Shad Isaac has faced challenges his entire life. Now he is ready for a new one.

A multi-time champion in wheelchair racing at the Endeavor Games, Isaac now wants to win on water the way he won on the track.

“I mastered the track and now I want to see if I can master this, which I know I can,” Isaac said.

Isaac, 22, of Oklahoma City is racing in his first paracanoe event at the Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Sprint Team Trials, which conclude Saturday on the Oklahoma River.

Isaac was born with spina bifida, the result of a birth mother who abused drugs and alcohol.

He came to the home of foster parents Linda and Dell Isaac at 8 months old weighing just 4½ pounds.

The Isaacs have fostered more children than they remember, easily more than 150, Linda Isaac said.

They adopted five of their foster kids, including Shad, who is their youngest. When Shad was a baby, doctors gave the Isaacs little hope that he would lead a productive life.

“They really thought he would be a vegetable,” Linda Issac said. “He's done everything everybody said he would never be able to do.

“I even had a doctor tell me, ‘Isn't it a shame that he lived.' I just said, ‘Don't ever give me that doctor again.' Look at him now. He's got some problems, but he just works through him.”

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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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