BODě, NORWAY -- Twenty-two years ago, Harrisburg High School three-sport senior athlete Brad Vinyard was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Over the next 16 years, that cancer progressed through a knee replacement to a leg amputation.
Fast-forward to September 8, 2018: A continued dedication to his interest in competitive sports, his family and his faith earned Brad a bronze medal in the World's Strongest Disabled Man competition in Norway.
The contest, open to qualifying competitors from around the world, saw 15 international athlete compete in the seated division and were met with five one-day challenges:
Vinyard's results were: Seated Deadlift -- Vinyard lifted 604 pounds; one arm overhead dumbbell press of 105 pounds for reps -- Vinyard completed 12 reps; arm-over-arm 60-meter car pull for time -- Vinyard completed the event in 12 seconds; 36-pound front hold for time -- Vinyard held for 60 seconds; and sandbag stack medley from wheelchair -- Vinyard completed in 90 seconds.
Vinyard said he enjoyed the chance to participate in the contest.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to go and compete against some amazing athletes," he said. "My reason for competing has never been about trophies, medals, or awards. It has always been about a desire to motivate others who might be struggling with some kind of difficulty in life. I could have folded when I found out about the cancer 22 years ago. I could have given up when I lost my leg back in 2012. But by God's grace, and through His power, I am able to do something I love, and all the while trying to get that message out ... the message that God has a plan for all of us, even when it's hard."
After a few weeks' recovery, Vinyard said he would be back in the gym prepping for the next events.
"My success comes when people reach out and tell me that I have made a difference in their lives for the better," he said.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Worlds-Strongest-Disabled-Man-1801329156819354/ online.