Fil-Am Paralympian wins four golds

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau

Posted at Sep 10 2012 08:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 11 2012 04:50 PM

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey – Filipino-American Paralympian Raymond Martin won not just one, but four Olympic gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London over the past two weeks.

The 18-year-old Fil-American’s family watched through livestream as Martin won his final race to claim his fourth gold last Saturday.

The men’s T52 200-meter race turned out to be Martin’s personal best, as he clocked in at 30.25 seconds, beating Japan (31.60 seconds) and Mexico (31.81 seconds) and breaking the official Paralympic record.

Martin also won gold in the men’s T52 100-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter races in the past two weeks.

Martin’s parents, Danny and April, are especially proud of their son as it is his first time to participate in the Paralympic Games.

“He was just supposed to go there for experience. For the first time of being there, and he ended up sweeping four golds,” said Danny.

Martin was born with a condition called arthrogryposis or Freeman Sheldon Syndrome, a congenital joint deformity that restricts his movement. His fingers are permanently bent, his feet are clubbed and his wrists are stiff as wood.

But that did not stop the Jersey City native from living his life to the fullest, and it certainly did not stop him from becoming a record-breaking Paralympian.

“We wanted him to be able to do things for himself and this is a bonus, the Paralympics and the gold, the four golds. They’re all bonuses for him and for us,” said Danny.

Martin serves as an inspiration even to his older brother Richard.

“It’s unbelievable just to watch it,” said Richard, adding that he can’t wait for the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in four years time.

From London, Martin will be flying straight to his new dormitory at the University of Illinois, where he will be an incoming freshman studying kinesiology.