I have always been athletic. I remember as a child growing up in Monroe, Connecticut, competing in soccer, running, and other extracurricular activities. I was particularly drawn to cycling activities, and competed in mountain bike and BMX racing events. At the age of 9, while on yet another form of riding machine – this time a Big Wheel, I lost control on a steep driveway, entered the road, and was struck by a passing truck. The impact shattered the back of my skull, leaving me in a coma for two months. Not only did I suffer a serious brain injury, but a broken femur, arm, shoulder, pelvis, and six ribs, as well. A large portion of my
cerebellum had to be removed, which is the part of the brain that controls balance and any other functions of the body. I was given no chance of survival by many of the doctors who recognized what grave condition I was in.
After recovering from a two-month long coma at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in Connecticut, I spent the next seven months at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York. When I arrived at Blythedale, the neurologist said, “I am optimistic that Ryan will
regain enough strength in his right hand to type.” My parents told him that I will be up running around and riding my bike again. Now I am a member of the U.S. Paralympic cycling team, competing in international competitions around the world, it is safe to say that my parents won that argument.
I wrote an autobiography several years ago entitled, When The Lights Go Out- A Boy Given a Second Chance, which documents my road to recovery, one that is not over in any way. I currently am a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where I am training for Tokyo 2020 after not only being named to the Rio team, but winning a silver medal in the time trial as the male trike rider for the U.S.. I also lived in Greenville, SC for a year, where I attended Furman University and trained for the 2014 World Championships where I won a silver in the time trial as well.
GOAL: Get back to the fitness level that I had for Rio after my ACL and LCL tear.