Get to know Mike Wong, Dare2tri Elite Team PT3 athlete, as he provides answers for the Q&A below:
What’s your story/background?
I was a longtime distance runner who was hit by a truck on a training run. I spent nearly a month in the hospital recovering from a number of injuries. One permanent injury was to my left arm, which was left completely paralyzed.
What is your specific involvement with dare2tri?
I am an athlete on the elite team, so I try to go to as many races and events/practices as I can.
How long have you been involved with dare2tri?
In 2011 I had signed up for a couple duathlons and inquired about a triathlon camp sponsored by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. They passed my name to Keri (Dare2tri Executive Director & Co-Founder), who reached out to me to join! I did my first triathlon in 2012 with Dare2Tri and I've been with them ever since.
Why did you get involved with dare2tri?
They were among the first folks to tell me I wasn't crazy for trying to learn how to swim and bike with only one arm. In contrast, they encouraged it, and created an environment where athletes with disabilities felt like they belonged, rather than stood out.
Is there a specific moment while with dare2tri that sticks out in your mind? If so, what is it?
At the 2013 Dare2Tri Kids camp, Keri was introducing transitions with the question, "In triathlon there are actually 4 disciplines - swim, bike, run, and what else?" And a tiny girl piped up and said, "Have fun???!!!" It was a great reminder of what ultimately matters.
What would you like others to know about dare2tri?
You can't find a more friendly group to learn, train, race, and volunteer with.
What does dare2tri mean to you?
It's silly to think that people don't have limitations, because we do. But dare2tri focuses on working around them and adapting to them, and with that attitude, athletes with disabilities have more in common with able-bodied athletes than differences.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
You don't need a lot of experience to get involved. In 2012 I did my first triathlon, and I backstroked it, but I found triathlon really challenging and fun. By 2014, I was training 8-10 hours per week, and completed a 70.3 triathlon. Dare2Tri ignited the passion I have for the sport today.