Hardin-Simmons University’s Tanner Wright returns home from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After spending 2 weeks in Tokyo, Japan Hardin-Simmons University graduate assistant, Tanner Wright is back home from the Paralympics.  

“The whole experience, in general, was pretty surreal. Right when I finished the 400 and the finals, my immediate thought was I knew it was a really good race and how much better it could’ve been,” said Wright.  

Wright says the scariest part about the competition, was everything leading up to the race. 

“Honestly that whole day I was a wreck. I was nervous throughout the whole day. I had trouble sleeping before, I had trouble sleeping after.” 

But after setting foot on the track, he says the nerves went away. 

“Once you’re actually in the blocks and in the finals of the 400 Olympic meters, then it just turns into another 400 meters against 7 other people,” said Wright.  

HSU head track and cross-country coach, Isaac Hamilton, has been helping prepare wright for his races, and the coaching didn’t stop while in Tokyo. 

“Right before the races, I sent him a message. I said don’t forget to execute, focus on yourself. Don’t try and race them and run your race. So, the whole time I was like execute, execute, get off that turn, stay tall, stay tall,” said Hamilton.  

After knowing each other for a little over six years, Hamilton says he truly appreciates his and wright’s friendship. 

“Just to have known him for so long and seen how long he had worked, 5 years nonstop just to make it to that point. I’m really honored that he let me help him on his journeying,” said Hamilton.  

Now back home after competing in both the finals of the 100-meter race, placing 7th and the 400-meter race placing 3rd, Wright says he’s grateful to have set an example for people all over the world.  

“At first it was a relief to making the team. Half the time it is a competition but half the time I just really wanted to make sure I actually enjoyed the experience and lived in the moment while I had to,” said Wright.  

As he is already preparing in setting the bar even higher for the next Paralympics. 

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