DICK TRAUM: What running does, is it introduces people to
[TEXT: Sports in America, “Playing it Forward”]
I ran the marathon on an artificial leg in 1976 and I
continued to run and I kept coming in last.
[TEXT: Dick Traum, Founder and President, Achilles International]
And I figured if we could share this sport with others, at least I
wouldn’t come in last anyway.
We had six people do the New York City Marathon, including myself,
and that was fantastic.
Whoever heard of six people with disabilities running a marathon?
A reporter from Poland did a story on us, and then this generated a
wonderful club in Poland.
We went into Russia, and then we went into Mongolia and
Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria and it just spread.
We had an opportunity to set up a chapter in Grozny,
which is part of Chechnya.
The following year we have three members come here and they run
our Hope and Possibility 5-Miler.
They are astonished by how comfortable the people are with those
They’re in short pants, there’s no artificial leg, nobody even
notices and they just really really feel good about it.
People who run the marathon the first time will come back days
later, weeks, years later,
and say, “You know, that was a favorite day of my life.”
We’re giving people in these different countries hope.
You know, we’re giving them something to look forward to.
[TEXT: Every Play Matters
Share Your Sport at
Produced by the U.S. Department of State]