Cerebral Palsy Patient Excels At Bocce
TOPEKA, Kan. — An athlete with cerebral palsy is about to compete in his third Paralympics. Austin Hanson has been playing bocce ball for more than 20 years, and is ranked 21st in the world. Hanson will be the only American athlete competing in the Paralympics for bocce ball.
Hanson had a heart attack at just 2 months old, which left him paralyzed and nonverbal. Through a device, he says he loves to ”challenge able-bodied people to a game. I am so proud to be representing our country for the third time. I think London will be great.”
His father, Gary Barraclough, is also his trainer. ”Austin has stressed the fact that he wants to try for 2016 — even though 2012 is not over with yet. He made that commitment, he wants to do it.”
Before the Paralympics, Hanson and his dad tell the Fox affiliate in Topeka they’ll be in Chicago for the national competition. If he wins there, it would be his 11th national title.