Local Paralympic athlete heads to Rio


    MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula resident Meg Fisher works as a physical therapist by day, but she's also a medal-winning Paralympic athlete, who is in Rio this month for her third Paralympic Games.

    Like many Paralympic athletes, her story is full of both tragedy and triumph.

    "I was a college tennis player, and in 2002 I got in a really bad car accident," explained Fisher. "Our car rolled 8 1/2 times, and I had a traumatic brain injury and other injuries that resulted in the subsequent amputation of my left leg."

    Her tennis career was over. One doctor told her she may never walk again -- a prognosis Fisher was unable to accept.

    "I wanted to get back to my athletic self," said Fisher, who describes herself as stubborn. "But I don't think being stubborn is a bad thing. I think, when people told me that I might never walk again, (I had) that stubbornness to say, 'Yeah, I'll walk.'"

    Her stubbornness also led her to a new athletic outlet, one that she has succeeded in wildly, and one that has led her to Rio to compete for the third time as a Paralympic cyclist.

    "It's been in incredible experience," said Fisher. I always wanted to be an Olympian, but that wasn't the case for me, and the Paralympics presented themselves, and I've just chased them as far as I can."

    By now Fisher is an accomplished athlete, competing internationally year-round, and she has the hardware to back it up, already winning silver and gold in London.

    "Sports have truly transformed my life. I wouldn't be here today," said Fisher. "I don't think I would be literally alive, without a history in sports, as well as my motivation and stubbornness to get back to it."

    She's going for more gold in Brazil, now a veteran leader and representative for Team USA.

    The 2016 Paralympics kick off in Rio Sept. 7 and wrap up Sept. 18.

    Click here to learn more about Fisher.

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