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Through adaptive sports, the physically disabled are getting back in the game

By Mike Wollschlager, Connecticut Magazine,Feb 18, 2020 Jay Ross watched the action out the window from his hospital bed. He sat in his room at the long-term-care Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford — unable to walk after a motorcycle accident weeks earlier — as the annual Gaylord Gauntlet took place across the 400-acre campus. The 5k mud run and obstacle course is the biggest fundraiser for the Gaylord Sports Association and draws nearly 1,000 participants. The Sports Association at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare helped Jay Ross get back into physical competition following a motorcycle accident. Ross was in a dark place. “His nurse was like, ‘Hey, that’s gonna be you next year,’ ” says Katie Joly, the Sports Association program manager. “And he’s like, ‘No way.’ He had no idea what his life had in store for him.” That was June 2018. Ross would soon find out about the Sports Association while doing physical therapy. An athlete and gym rat before the accident, Ross signed up. The Gaylord Sports Association is the largest adaptive sports program in the state.