Their baby was only nine-months-old, but the parents of Annie Flood were faced with a difficult choice. Their daughter was born with fibular hemimelia, which meant she had a short femur and her fibula never developed. They could either have that part of the girl’s leg amputated, or they could leave the malformed appendage alone. They chose the amputation, but even without part of her leg, this athlete with disabilities has strived to excel, and now she has set her sights on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games.
The Road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Game
Fast forward to this girl’s freshman year of high school, and now she is playing on her high school’s volleyball team. Following in the footsteps of her sisters, and influenced be the athleticism of her football coach father, Flood has embraced volleyball as her sport of choice. For good luck, her team knocks on the girl’s prosthetic leg, but her high school team is only the beginning of the girl’s athletic ambitions.
Every month, she boards a plane from her home state of Oregon to travel to the home of team USA’s Paralympic Volleyball team—Oklahoma City. Once here, she trains as a completely different athlete in a sport that has key differences than the game she plays in high school.
How Do You Play Paralympic Volleyball?
Paralympic Volleyball involves sitting instead of standing, which puts more emphasis on muscles in the abdomen than normal volleyball. It’s a stark difference but it is also a challenge that Flood seems ready for. She told a local news station that she doesn’t know if getting to Tokyo is realistic, but if she pushes hard enough, she can reach that goal.
Now, only time and more flights to Oklahoma City will tell if this athlete with disabilities will be able to make it to the world stage. Do you think she’ll make it?
Brought to you be the Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman—helping Oklahomans get the benefits they need.