(UPDATE) Paralyzed Norwood hockey player Matt Brown accepted into NYC Marathon
UPDATE: The New York Road Runners announced Thursday that it will permit Matt Brown and his racing partner, Luke Carr, to run the ING NYC Marathon on Nov. 3.
“We work very hard to accommodate participants overcoming great odds to compete in the ING New York City Marathon, and NYRR is allowing Mr. Carr and Matt Brown in the race this year given our special efforts to recognize and show solidarity with Boston. We are working on details on how best to accommodate them and ensure the safest and best race for all of the more than 45,000 participants,” an NYRR spokesman said in a statement to WBZ-TV.
Metro’s original story is below.
Former Norwood High School hockey player Matt Brown’s motto is “never quit” and the teen says he won’t quit on his efforts to get permission to participate in the New York City Marathon.
Brown, who broke his neck at age 15 after being checked into the boards during a game in 2010, is paralyzed from the neck down.
He has participated in the both the Boston Marathon and the Hyannis Marathon, being pushed in a wheelchair by his partner, Luke Carr.
Brown had his sights set on participating in this year’s ING New York City Marathon, scheduled to take place in November, but officials reportedly said he is not allowed.
According to the rules on the marathon’s website, entrants planning to use a wheelchair must be able to proceed through the course on their own power. Applications will not be accepted from persons intending to be pushed by another person.
Reaction on Brown’s Facebook page ran the gamut of people outraged at the snub, to people offering support for Brown to battle on.
“Sue the pants off those dirtbags,” posted Cathy Hofferty. “That is without question the worst case of discrimination I have ever seen in my entire life!!!”
John Ricci’s post said the NYC Marathon Committee should be ashamed of themselves.
“That’s pretty ridiculous about NYC!,” posted Keenan Michael John. “I’m glad you two are keeping your heads up high! You have my support and always will!”
In an interview with WHDH, Brown explained why it is so important for him to run in the race.
“We run for people that are similar to my situation,” he said. “My life changed, but it didn’t end and we want to show people not to stop. Just to keep going, just to keep going with life and really never quit.”
Former Boston Bruins player Andrew Ference, who became friends with Brown after his injury, took to Twitter to express his frustration with the situation. He tweeted pictures of past NYC Marathon runners wearing costumes, with the caption “This person can run it the @ingnycmarathon”