Desmond Jackson is a Hillside High School sophomore with his sights set on the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janerio. The Herald Sun recently highlighted his achievements and goals in an article titled ‘Durham’s Jackson golden in England’. There’s no doubt he will get there, as his work ethic, drive, and many accolades speak for his ability to succeed. We’re rooting for you, Desmond!
In the meantime, the kid is putting in work, like those three gold medals he won during the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation World Games in Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom, near London. That was in August, when Jackson, representing the WASUSA junior national squad, outdid the field of competitors from 31 other countries in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes.
And he picked up a discus, which he hadn’t thrown in at least a year, and launched it far enough for a bronze medal.
Some of Jackson’s success can be traced to N.C. Central University, where Tavius Walker is an assistant track-and-field coach. Since May, Walker has been tweaking Jackson’s running style. A coach from the German team told Jackson that he liked his skills. Jackson, 14, had the best running times among the above-the-knee amputees with whom he competed, all of them older than him.
Back in July, Jackson worked out at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. He’s scheduled to resume training for Hillside’s indoor-track season.
“Running with my school only makes me better” prepared to compete both nationally and internationally, Jackson said. “What’s meant for me is meant for me.”