This was my life…
Growing up in Durham, Ontario I enjoyed competitive sports. Baseball, volleyball, track and field, basketball, mountain biking – I enjoyed them all. And I just couldn’t get enough of my favourite teams: the Pickering Red Sox, Team Ontario Baseball and the Pickering Trojans. My desire to compete was my main motivation in life. Track and Field became a focus for me, and at the 2004 Ontario Federation of Secondary School Athletics (OFSSA) championship I got my first taste of gold. A promising career seemed to be on the horizon, and I found myself dreaming about competing for Canada in the Olympics in the 110 m hurdles.
On September 30th, 2009, at the age of 21, my life was suddenly and brutally changed forever. While at work, I was crushed in a car at a scrap metal yard.
On September 30th, 2009, Anthony’s life was forever altered in an industrial accident. Working for an automobile service centre, he was part of a team that brought old cars to a scrap yard for flattening and recycling.
On that day in September, Anthony was in a car that could not move under its own power, so he steered while it was pushed into the yard and up onto a scale. Unaware that the car was occupied, a crane operator crushed the vehicle and hoisted it 15 feet into the air. When a scrap yard employee frantically alerted the operator that someone was still inside, he released the car and sent it crashing to the ground.
Trapped inside, unable to move, and with the roof crushed down almost to his head, Anthony could only wait and contemplate the severity of his injuries.
Firefighters arrived and extracted him from the car using the Jaws of Life and a helicopter airlifted him to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto where he underwent surgery to stabilize his critically injured back.
The accident left Anthony paralyzed from the waist down. He broke his back and six ribs, fractured his neck, and was left without the ability to control his bladder and bowel functions. His doctors told him he was fortunate to even be alive. Needless to say, Anthony’s lifestyle changed immediately. He needed attendant care, modifications to his home, and someone to look after him. But though his body was broken, his incredible spirit remained intact. After coming so close to death, Anthony felt he had been given a second chance at life, and he was determined to really live it! Ever the athlete, Anthony began to participate in a variety of wheelchair sports. Some friends ultimately introduced him to hand-cycling, which became the focus and passion of his life.
Where some might have thrown in the towel, Anthony Lue chose to take up the ultimate challenge and compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. It won’t be easy for him to get there, but Anthony has set his sights on overcoming all obstacles in his path.
Anthony trains ferociously; but training is just one part of the equation. He also needs support and sponsorship. He wants people to know his story, and not just the part that’s already been written; he also wants to talk about the chapters yet to come.
My Road to Gold!
I’m back – and determined to continue on the road to victory!
This road will have many stops along the way as I train hard, eat clean and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. I hope the final destination on my journey will be the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. But, before I make it there, I have to make the Canadian Men’s National Team.
In order to prepare myself, I will push myself at the gym three times per week and on the bike five to six times per week. By keeping a positive attitude, I believe I can achieve anything I put my mind to. My focus, drive and determination will fuel me on my new life journey.
I have many strong, positive influential people in my life who have helped contribute to who I am today. It is my goal to repay them with gold! My passion for cycling stems from my former baseball coach and friend Mike Leufkens. He is the reason I started mountain biking as a child, and he always encouraged me to pursue cycling at a higher level.
After my accident, I found a way to get back into cycling; it was a natural fit. In the words of my good friend, Spider Jones: “Where there’s a wheel there’s a way!”