Furman student preps for the Paracycling World Championships - FOX Carolina 21

Furman student preps for the Paracycling World Championships

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He was hit by a truck at just 9 years old, spending two months in a coma, and left virtually immobile. Now, just over ten years later, Ryan Boyle is a national champion cyclist, and has his eye on the world title.

The Paracycling World Championships will be held in Greenville over Labor Day weekend. It's the first time the worldwide race will be held in the U.S. in fifteen years, and with a Greenville-based coach, Team U.S.A. boasts three upstate riders.

The rising Furman junior is the baby on the team. He's come a long way since he said he was only able to move his index finger after his wreck.

Now, he uses cycling and strength training as his physical therapy, believing there are no limits to what he can accomplish.

Boyle calls cycling his "destiny."

"I know how cliché that might sound, but, I love what I do, and I want to show the world what I can do, and what U.S.A. can do," Boyle said.

Boyle said his skull shattered when he was hit by the truck, and he spent two months in a coma. Doctors told his family they weren't sure if he would survive. He did, but with his balance and movement greatly affected.

After months, and then years of intensive rehab, Boyle got into swimming and then staff at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta got him back on a bike, a hand cycle. He began competing with that bike and at a race in Anderson, he said coach Simon Bennett saw potential in him. He translated Boyle's passion to the trike.

"It's a lot like a regular bike and I can compete on it and I can be a world champion," Boyle said.

Just this summer, Boyle nabbed gold medals in Italy and Madison, Wisc., taking home national championships. He said he's always looking forward to the next race.

As the World Championships come to Greenville, he hopes having trained in the city, knowing its heat and humidity well, he can be at an advantage.

He hopes his success will inspire others never to give up hope.

Boyle studies communications in school and he wants to be a motivational speaker.

He's already written a book called, "When the Lights Go Out," published his freshman year of college, about the path he's taken, to get where he is.

Boyle said his USA team travels together, competes together and they cheer each other on. He called his teammates, "an ambitious bunch," and that they all share similar optimistic personalities.

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