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Wetumpka community welcomes home Paralympic gold medalist

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - Just entering his sophomore year of high school, Grant Weighall is already a two-time gold medalist. At the 2022 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in Miramar, Florida, Weighall won gold in men’s long jump and javelin. He also won silver in the 100-meter dash.

“This is just the beginning of the journey. I don’t know what I’m really getting into but I’m going in the right path and I’m really thankful to be here,” said Weighall.

Monday, Weighall was welcomed home to Wetumpka with signs along the street he lives on as well as family and friends congratulating him on his performance.

A sign reads "Welcome back CHAMP" for Grant Weighall.
A sign reads "Welcome back CHAMP" for Grant Weighall.(Source: WSFA)

“These are my people and I’m really proud right now and the feelings are just coming to me,” he said. “I’m super happy.”

Weighall recently switched over to compete in the Paralympic division within the past year. He suffers from a hereditary disorder called myotonia congenita, which he says his mom and older brother also have. It’s a disorder which affects muscles used for movement and begins in childhood.

“Didn’t really think much of it and I thought everybody else was just like me,” he said.

Weighall, a rising sophomore at Wetumpka High School, is overcoming his disorder to succeed at the highest level of competition. At the national championships, Grant broke the national record in the long jump with a 19-foot 11-inch jump, earning him the gold. His javelin throw of 41.82 meters won him gold by more than five meters.

“The people that got me here, my coaches, and especially the people that put this on for me, all of it is just a blessing,” he said.

“It’s overwhelming to watch a young athlete, as well as your child, take the one thing that’s also the most awful thing in his life, and suddenly find it to be the best thing that ever happened to you,” said Grant’s dad, and coach, Robert Weighall.

Grant Weighall wears his two gold medals and one silver medal he won at the U.S. Paralympics...
Grant Weighall wears his two gold medals and one silver medal he won at the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships.(Source: WSFA)

Now, Grant Weighall’s focus turns toward another competition in July in Colorado. His dad says next year’s world championships in France could also be in play.

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