Kamloops's Greg Stewart unleashes gold winning shot put at Tokyo Paralympics | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops's Greg Stewart unleashes gold winning shot put at Tokyo Paralympics

Shot putter Greg Steward of Kamloops is seen winning gold at the Tokyo Paralympics, Aug. 31, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Canadian Paralympic Committee

Competitive shot putter Greg Stewart won a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics with his first throw in the men's shot put - F46 yesterday.

The 35-year-old from Kamloops unleashed a throw of 16.75 metres yesterday, Aug. 31, setting a Paralympic record. Nikita Prokhorov from Russia won silver with a throw of 16.29 metres, and American Joshua Cinnamo won bronze with a throw of 15.90 metres.

Stewart's coach, Dylan Armstrong could not be in Tokyo due to COVID-19 protocols, but his words played like a recording in Stewart's mind at National Stadium on the big day.

"That's all we talked about was just trusting the process, go out there and have fun, and allow it to happen," Stewart said. "The moment I start looking around and thinking I want to throw further, I wasn't good enough or that guy threw better, that's when it removes me from what's actually going on.

"And, it was just being in the moment. How often do we find ourselves not in the moment in this crazy life that we live? Being able to just keep (the shot put) tight, throw, let the rest takes care of itself."

Stewart has been an athlete most of his life, despite being born with no left arm below the elbow. He played varsity basketball for Thomson Rivers University, won three world titles with the men's standing volleyball team, and earned two Parapan American Games bronze medals on the sitting volleyball team.

He took up shot put in 2018, and connected with Dylan Armstrong, Canada's Olympic shot put bronze medalist in 2008. The following year, Stewart placed silver in shot put at the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.

READ MORE: Kamloops athlete wins silver in Peru despite back injury

Excelling on the world stage in his third sport, Stewart said he had a message about the tight Paralympic community and celebrating differences.

"People with a disability, all they want to do is fit in. Now don't get me wrong, I think everybody wants to fit in. Everyone wants to be loved. And everyone wants to be a part of something," he said.

"But you, me and everyone are different. We appear different, act different, feel different, whatever. But because we're all different, that is a similarity that we all share. And so, because we share that we're actually not alone."

 — With files from The Canadian Press.

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