ATHENS, W.Va (WVVA)- Concord University Assistant Track and Field Coach Jonathan Gore has had Olympic dreams since the 7th grade.
"My mom used to run track in high school and was really good, so they asked her to coach," Gore said. "So I decided to just go out and run."
That middle school decision would blossom into a successful track and field career at Concord University. But after graduating in 2018, a work accident would alter Gore's life forever.
"I was in a lawnmower incident that cut my heel off," Gore said. "I went to the hospital and they said they could reconstruct my foot again, but I would never be able to walk or function as normal".
Gore made an incredibly difficult decision.
"I told them to just cut it off," said Gore.
While Gore would lose the lower half of his left leg, he would refuse to lose his dreams of representing his country at the Olympic games.
"The ER, right before my surgery, he asked me if I had any questions. The first question was how much of my leg was he going to remove. The second question was if could I eat that day because I literally had not eaten that entire day. And the last question was after he does this, could get a running blade so I could train in the Paralympics," said gore.
After getting his post-surgery meal, the Training began for Gore.
Today, Gore ranks as one of the top sprinters with lower leg amputations in the United States, and a top-three finish in either the 100-meter dash or 200-meter dash at the U.S. Paralympic Trials would punch his ticket to Tokyo. While his path to the games went off track, Gore's love of the sport is what pushed him to keep following his dreams through tremendous adversity.
I could have let this injury break me, but God got me through it," said Gore. "I just got to the point where I was just like 'forget the goals. I'm just going to go race' and then everything else will fall in line."