Raising a racket: Mike O’Leary plays tough, wheelchair or not

(June 16, 2018 Marco Island, FL, www.marconews.com)

Mike O’Leary has been a lifelong athlete. He’s not letting a wheelchair put a stop to that.

The Canadian-born O’Leary was a competitive skier, a member of the Canadian World Cup team, a hockey player and Jet-Ski racer. In later decades, the 63-year-old fell in love with pickleball, and became a top player.

Then O’Leary was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a progressive brain disorder that interferes with communication between the legs and the nervous system.

After a period of thinking his days of competing were through, he saw people in wheelchairs playing pickleball at the Naples YMCA and said to himself, “I can do that.” With his noticeably competitive nature, O’Leary probably thought, “I can do that, and beat all these guys.” Read More…

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