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Brad Parks | Paralympian & Founder of Wheelchair Tennis

Published: Thursday August 24, 2023

Pushing Forward with Alycia | A Disability Podcast

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Paralympian Brad Parks

In episode 10 of Pushing Forward with Alycia, Alycia Anderson delves into the life and accomplishments of Paralympian Brad Parks, a name synonymous with resilience, innovation, and empowerment.

The Birth of Wheelchair Tennis

Brad’s story unfolds in 1980 when he founded the National Foundation of Wheelchair Tennis. His visionary approach not only laid the foundation for the sport’s growth into global governing bodies like the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), but earned him the name “The Godfather of Wheelchair Tennis”. The sports recognition has evolved even further to be included on prestigious platforms such as Wimbledon, the French Open, and more. What was once deemed unfeasible is now a shining example of success through inclusion and dedication.

A lifelong connection

The heartwarming relationship between Alycia’s family and Brad extends 40 years later. Brad’s involvement with Alycia and her able-bodied twin in wheelchair tennis demonstrates his commitment to breaking down barriers and fostering unity.

Beyond the Court

Brad’s journey extends beyond the sport itself. He played a pivotal role in developing equipment that empowered athletes with disabilities to navigate their spaces independently. His impact reverberated through the lives he touched, including Alycia, who, as a young girl in a wheelchair, experienced his coaching and guidance firsthand.

More about Brad:

brad parks sitting in his wheelchair on a tennis court holding a tennis racquet with tennis balls on the ground in front of him
  • Wikipedia: Delve deeper into Brad Parks’ life and his monumental influence on wheelchair tennis.
  • USTA: Learn about Brad’s recognition as a finalist for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.
  • Bleacher Report: Read about his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and his lasting impact on the world of sports.

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Stay tuned for more inspiring conversations on Pushing Forward with Alycia. Open hearts, clear paths. Let’s go.