Via San Benito News
By: Pete Banda
When Tristan Shafer was born, doctors told his parents that he would most likely never be able to run or play any kind of sport. In fact, doctors informed the parents to prepare for the possibility that Shafer would never be able to walk due to his cerebral palsy. So you can only imagine the amount of joy and intrigue they felt when their son came to them with the revelation that he wanted to join the track team at Riverside Middle school. It would be Tristan’s first time trying out for mainstream sports team.
“Tristan has been taking part in the Special Olympics since last year and he really enjoys it,” said Tristan’s mom, Lauren Shafer, who is a teacher at Riverside. “He heard on the intercom at school that they were going to be holding tryouts for the track team and he came to my class to tell me that he wanted to join the team… It was a little shocking because he had never gone out for any mainstream sports, but I talked to his Dad and we agreed to let him go ahead and do it.”
Tristan would go on to join the team and trained for two weeks before taking part in the first team track meet on the weekend of March 25. Before the race began, Tristan’s parents sat him down and had a talk with him about the possibility that he wouldn’t be winning. That didn’t deter the young athlete one bit.