Challenged athlete Justin Phongsavanh training in Chula Vista for the Paralympic Team trials in Minneapolis

CHULA VISTA (KUSI) – Justin Phongsavanh is a challenged athlete training for the upcoming Paralympic Team trials in June of this year.

Justin was a track and field athlete, football and rugby player in high school in Iowa. In 2015, when he was 18 years old, he was in a McDonald’s parking lot with his friend Nick when a former soldier dealing with PTSD approached the two of them, pistol whipped Nick and then shot Justin, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

He spent four months in the hospital and decided that he was going to live his new life all out. The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) got him a throwing chair and in 2017 he took fourth in the javelin at the US Paralympics National Championships. In 2019 he took fourth at the World Championships in the javelin and he recently was named to the US National Team. He’ll be looking to make his first Paralympic Team on June 27th and June 28th in Minneapolis.

He is now living and training at the Chula Vista Training Center and has become a huge part of CAF’s Track and Field Program coaching other throwers.

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