Local Paralympic athletes return to Spokane | News
A group of Paralympic athletes from Team St. Luke's just arrived back in town early Tuesday morning after spending three weeks in London for the 2012 Paralympic Games.
One of those athletes is 18-year-old Austin Pruitt who competed in the 100-and 200-meter wheelchair track events.
Fresh from the London Paralympics, Pruitt is already talking about the future. "I'm not even close -- I'm just getting started," he said.
"It's addicting the feeling of being on the track and hearing 81,000 people scream and holler and hoot. It's a feeling you want more of," Pruitt said.
Austin ended up taking fifth place in the 200-meter race.
"I ended up getting fifth by 3 to 5 thousandths of a second was the difference between fifth and third place," Pruitt said. He might not have come home with a medal but Pruitt has a lot to be proud of.
"The thrill of success and you know the feeling of OK I didn't do it but here's next time," he said.
While in London, Pruitt enjoyed being somewhat of a celebrity. "In London they didn't view you any differently. I signed I can't even count how many T-shirts and hats," he said.
"You just step onto that track and there's, I mean the TV doesn't do it justice at all, because you just look back and there's just people and people and people, when they all get to screaming and everything it's something you can't really describe," Pruitt added.
The pain endured on the track paid off and for this 18-year-old, the journey is just getting started.
"Four years from now I'm going to be a force to be reckoned with," he said.