Here’s an amazing story by actress and amputee Katy Sullivan who continues to chase her dreams, on screen and on the track. Go get ’em Katy!!!
Ripples in a Pond
By Katy Sullivan
I was a part of the U.S. team that attended the IPC World Track Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this year. I was there to run the 100m against women who only have one leg amputated. I am the only bilateral amputee female runner at this level in the world… or at least I thought I was.
I was out at the warm-up track one day a few days before my race, and I spotted a member of the German team. She was tall, blond, very beautiful and missing BOTH of her legs above the knees. I pointed her out to my coach, and he was certain that she was a wheelchair racer, but I knew better. She was going to be my competition. I stayed after my workout that day to watch her put her running legs on and start to jog around the track. It was like seeing something totally new; I was so excited that I wasn’t alone anymore!
I tried to find out some information about her and was told that she was really excited that I was there too.
I continued on that week training and preparing for my race, when one afternoon towards the end of my set of drills, she walked onto the track and flagged me down. I stopped what I was doing to introduce myself. Turns out that she was injured in an accident four years ago and lost her legs, but about a year ago her prosthetist found a video of me running online, and she was determined to try to run too.
She said that it seeing me do it inspired her, and she told me, “YOU are the reason I am here.”
I was incredibly moved, of course, but I don’t share this story to toot my own horn. We do things in our lives every day and have no idea that other people notice or see what we do. By putting a short film on YouTube, hoping to gain exposure and maybe some sponsorship, I was able to touch the life of a girl halfway across the world, and in doing that, HER life has changed. That was not my intention, but what an incredible way to realize that we are all connected.
Take a moment this week and notice how you are impacting the world around you!
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About Katy Sullivan
Katy Sullivan is an actress and lives in Los Angeles. She grew up on the stage and received a BFA in acting from Webster University’s Conservatory. She worked in many theatres in Chicago before making the journey west to try her luck at TV and film. She has appeared in numerous independent films including a documentary that chronicles her quest to make the U.S. Paralympics Track Team and recently appeared on stage with Tom Hardy and Philip Seymour Hoffman. She is probably best known for her character on NBC’s “My Name is Earl.” She always looks forward to what comes next! To learn more visit www.katysullivan.com!