The bird shows up most days, watching her train from above.
Natalie Bieule likes to think it’s her grandfather, Joaquin. Life took one of his legs, too. Well, actually, cancer did before he passed away at 69. Hers was claimed by a drunk driver in a head-on car accident a decade and a half ago when she was 18. Her right leg had to be amputated below the knee. The same leg as the one her grandfather lost. He sometimes called her Joaquina.
The accident that made her an accidental Paralympian in the F44 discus event happened back home in Miami. She had just graduated high school, and she was headed to a friend’s house to stay over.
“I just remember getting pulled out of the car and telling myself I need to stay alive and see my mom one more time,” Bieule recalls. “The Jaws of Life extracted me out of the passenger’s side.”
“I had a dancing career ahead of me,” she remembers. “That’s what I wanted toRead More »from How American Natalie Bieule soared to make her Paralympic dreams come true