Golden News for Dartanyon

Posted on September 24, 2010.

You may remember how Leroy and I got to go to Colorado Springs last fall to visit the Paralympics at the Olympic Training Center (OTC).  We tried out different sports.  A lot of U.S. athletes get to live at the OTC and train full-time.  It’s an incredible place.  Well last winter, the Paralympics judo coaches talked about me maybe going to live at the OTC.  They thought if I were training more, I maybe could be good enough for the 2012 Games in London.  I was so hoping they’d accept me.  Took several months of waiting before we found out.

The news came in March.  The day that I found out that I was accepted to live at the OTC, I was at a loss for words. I was so happy I could have cried. At that moment I didn’t know whether to sit down, stand up or run around in circles yelling in excitement. I was so excited because I knew that this was a once in a life time opportunity.

I knew that this was going to benefit my future in so many ways.  I’d be able to travel the world participating in a great sport that I love. I would meet many people.  New doors would for me.  I also saw it as another way to help others, such as doing motivational speaking engagements at schools and just being an inspiration to someone going through a hard time and who needs a positive role model in their life.

Dartanyon on campus at the Olympic Training Center

But as the time I had at home grew shorter and my leave date grew closer, I started to become kinda nervous.  I had never been away from Cleveland.  I knew I would miss my family and friends.  The day that I left was bitter sweet.  My sister, my dad and my girlfriend took me to the airport.  There was not a dry eye in the car, as I said my good-byes going into the airport, wishing deep down in the back of my mind that I had one more week, one more day, to spend with my family and friends.  But I knew that getting on the airplane was the most important thing I could ever do to help myself and my future.

The very first weekend I was living in Colorado Springs in April, I had my first tournament.  It was a small tournament in Boulder, Colorado.  I took first place in the novice division, winning every match.  I couldn’t have been more excited.  I knew I was in the right place.

Next time I’ll tell you more about my daily life at the OTC and college in Colorado Springs.

Lastly I want to give a BIG thanks to everyone for the support and donations, because with out them I would not be where I am today.  I couldn’t have paid for school or food.  I could not have paid for my move.  Nothing.  It scares me to think of where I could have ended up without you.  

One Response to “Golden News for Dartanyon”

  1. Dartanyon, You have no idea how much you have inspired me with the story of the two of you. I am a behavior Management Specialist and I show the video to my students ALL the time. They are always in AWE. I try to instill the power of friendship and the importance of education to them. After they watch your video, they walk away with a better understanding and a brighter outlook on staying in school until the end and the importance of higher education beyond their situation. I would really love to meet you and get you all to come to Beaufort South Carolina and speak to the students and staff at my school. If there is any way that you can be a pen pal, please write me so that I can keep up with the both of you. Thanks,

    Your new found and respected friend Sharon

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