SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

From Spinal Cord Injury to a World Championship Title in Archery

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Yiğit Caner Aydın

An Accident Caused My Spinal Cord Injury

Hi, I am Yiğit Caner Aydın from Turkey. I am 25 years old and I had an accident four years ago. A big desk fell on my head- my neck broke from the C6 level and my spinal cord was damaged. I lost control of my fingers and beneath my chest. Doctors said I had a 20% chance of living before the operation. I was in intensive care for six days and won the fight. After the operation, I stayed in the hospital for eight months. Doctors said: "if he can sit in the wheelchair, it will be miracle." I finally made it after working hard everyday in physical therapy for 2.5 years.

How Archery Saved My Life

I met a paralympic archer and started archery in 2016. At first I could not keep the bow up, but I decided that day to keep shooting the bow and arrow. I was using a theraband everyday to build strength and learn the best position to shoot a bow. I could not train frequently because my house was far away from my archery club. I bought a bow and other related equipment with money I earned before the accident. I created a place in the underground parking area of my house to practice. I worked hard everyday in the dark, and imagined wearing a national team shirt one day.

Achievement In Archery

Our national team's coaches invited me to develop my skills in training camps. I showed my skills, and they selected me to be on the squad in the Beijing 2017 Para-archery World Championship. In my first competition we broke a world record in the qualification round for W1 Men's team category with my teammates by 1967 points. The previous record belonged to Russia's team in 2015 by 1830 points. After that we beat Italy by 215 points, which meant a new record for the elimination round. The previous record was 201 and it belonged to USA's team. In the final we beat Russia by 205-202 scores, and we won the gold medal.

What's Next?

I shared this story because I want to inspire other people. Just in four years, my life has drastically changed. I can't believe these miracles, but I made them happen. I'm working for the future of this story. I'm just asking myself: What's next?

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