After South African runner, Oscar Pistorius, made headlines by becoming the first paralympic athlete to run in the Olympics, it became evident that athletes with disabilities can compete just as hard as their able-bodied counterparts. Others like Pistorius will get their chance at the Paralympic Games, which are also governed by the International Olympic Committee and are traditionally hosted at the same venue as the Olympics. They begin in about two weeks, and as YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, a Syracuse business with ties to the games is helping local athletes achieve their goals.
SYRACUSE, N.Y -- An athlete all her life, Alli Morgan wasn't going to give up sports after a torn ACL turned into 46 surgeries that ultimately led to the decision to amputate her right leg.
"This doesn't define me. This is just part of, I might do things a little bit differently," said Morgan.
Instead of taking it as a loss, Alli began training to make the National Paralympic Biathlon team.
"I enjoy the challenge and it's been a huge part of my recovery physically, emotionally, psychologically," said Morgan.
Another part of that recovery is Syracuse Prosthetic Center. An early partner in the company was an Olympic-hopeful skater, who after losing his leg, took an interest in helping amputees live active lives. Now his son continues the family tradition.
"We have a lot of great Central New York athletes that we've supported during the years that have won gold medals," said Syracuse Prosthetic Center President, John Tyo.
The company that dates back to 1866 has become the 10th largest provider of orthotic and prosthetic services in the U.S.
And that technology keeps on improving. Syracuse Prosthetic Center and Alli are sort of pioneers in the industry when it comes to athletes using prosthetics.
"Most above the knee amputees use a sit ski. Alli is going to be hopefully competing standing up on skiis," Board Eligible Prosthetist, Jeff Tyo.
Pushing the limits of what was once thought impossible.
"You have no idea how hard it is to stand and ski when you're a trans-femoral, meaning an above the knee amputee. She's a first," said John Tyo.
She's also a testament to what the human body can overcome and while at it, she's setting new standards.
The London 2012 Paralympic games run from September 29 to August 9. Their opening and closing ceremonies are identical to those of the Olympic games.
For more information about the games visit paralympic.org.