Two-time Paralympic gold medalist Patrick Anderson might have seemed cool as a cucumber signing autographs at Richmond Centre yesterday, but when asked if he was getting nervous he held up a shaking hand.
The wheelchair basketball star, who is heading to Beijing on Aug. 23, the day after his 29th birthday, said it’s the ubiquitous Olympics coverage that’s finally giving him the jitters.
“Watching basketball and seeing the venue you’re going to be (competing) in and seeing the crowds gives you butterflies,” said Anderson.
He was nine years old when he lost his legs after being pinned against a wall by a drunk driver.
He had no qualms about lifting the hem of his basketball shorts for curious young fans to show where his legs were amputated.
Christopher Lam, 6, clutched his autograph and announced, “I see you on TV.”
“He’s cool because he has no legs, and because he uses a wheelchair,” he added.
Anderson said all the attention he’s getting is humbling.
“I had big aspirations as a little kid (to be) a professional athlete. I grew up watching able-bodied sports.”
“Certainly … we (Paralympic athletes) get the opportunity to impact people.”