Another four medals for our mccracken

Athletics: The grim diagnosis came ten-and-a half years ago.

Doctors told Brad and Samantha McCracken their 18-month-old son Rheed suffered cerebral palsy and would never be able to walk.

Someone forgot to pass the message on to young Rheed.

More than a decade later, the 12-year-old is making doctors across the country eat their words.

This week he returned from the Australian Paralympics Youth Games in Melbourne, adding four gold medals to the 12 national records already set to his name.

The Bundaberg star won the 100-metre sprint, shotput, javelin and, most importantly, long jump in the 35 classification.

At that event he also added a silver medal in the discus.

But it is long jump that holds a special place in Rheed's heart.

It was another case where the doctors told the youngster his frame would not be able to compete in the event.

Defying the doctors' opinions, Rheed now holds the Australian record for the event in the under-12, under-14, under-16, under-18 and open categories.

“Technically he shouldn't be able to do it,” Brad said.

“But that's what he likes doing, it's his favourite event.”

“What are we going to do, there's no way we would stop him.”

Rheed is not stopping at conquering Australia, he has the world record in his sights.

But he will have to wait until he is old enough to compete in an international competition.

So few people with cerebral palsy compete in the event that the world mark is currently unknown.

Rheed's opportunity to challenge the world record might just coincide with the realisation of one of his other dreams - competing in the Paralympics.

“Ever since Beijing he has really made it his goal to make the Paralympics,” Brad said.

“He knows some people who have been there and he is very determined to make it himself.”

Just a hunch, but Brad and Samantha may have to clear some space in Rheed's trophy cabinet.



NRL legend is set for his next chapter

premium_icon NRL legend is set for his next chapter

Thurston talks to the NewsMail about life after football

Controversial 1770 development decision spurs robust debate

premium_icon Controversial 1770 development decision spurs robust debate

Councillors vote to approve 1770 development despite reservations.

Local Partners