Racing

Durham youth runner beating the odds

Posted October 2, 2013
Updated October 3, 2013

— It doesn't take long to be impressed by a kid who spends his Saturday mornings in the weight room.

"Even though he's small, he has the heart of a lion and acts like he's seven feet tall," said Desmond Jackson's track coach Christopher Williams.

"I'm trying to be a champion," said the Durham native Jackson.

Desmond Jackson Mitchell: Durham boy making his mark despite disability

So he's more than willing to put up with his coach's push.

"You have to do more than the average person would do," said Jackson

But average is not in Jackson's vocabulary.

"He was born 13 years ago with a rare birth defect," said Jackson's mother Deborah. "It was decided that amputation would give him the best quality of life. It was really challenging, that's not what you want to hear as a new mom. "

Three years later, while searching for a support group for Jackson, mother and son visited a track meet in Florida for disabled athletes.

"Amazingly while we were there, they chose Desmond for the finale," said Deborah. "They set up a mock race. Desmond ran against an accomplished paralympian and he was a hit."

The three year old, running on a tiny prosthetic leg, fell in love with track and field.

Now 13, he's grown into a bigger faster leg and he's excelling.

"I'm faster than most kids when we run," said Jackson. "It makes me feel good when I beat a lot of kids. That's all I want to do."

And he does that often. He recently won a gold medal at the Junior World games. Jackson's next goal is becoming the youngest athlete to represent the United States in the paralympics in 2016

"it's gratification that you don't know," said Deborah. "Most people think I'm Desmond's inspiration. It's the other way around."



4 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Toddler10-21 Oct 3, 2013

    Good luck Desmond. Great story!!

  • westernwake1 Oct 3, 2013

    A positive inspirational story. Great to see on WRAL. Keep running, Desmond! You will achieve your goals.

  • kmorrevenge Oct 3, 2013

    View quoted thread


    i agree

  • StunGunn Oct 2, 2013

    Desmond - and his mom - are such an inspiration. Great story.

  • NFL: Atlanta at Miami

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • Premier League Soccer

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Arizona at Houston

    Sunday at 4:00 am on FOX50

  • NFL: San Diego at Minnesota

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Cincinnati at Jacksonville

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Blitz

    Saturday, Sep. 3 at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf Special: Road to the Ryder Cup

    Sunday, Sep. 4 at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: Deutsche Bank Championship

    Sunday, Sep. 4 at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. New England

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLBL Kansas City at Boston

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

NFL Preseason
Thursday, Aug. 25
Atlanta 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Miami 
 
Dallas 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST9:00 CT6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00
Seattle 
Friday, Aug. 26
New England 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Carolina 
 
Buffalo 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Washington 
 
Pittsburgh 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
New Orleans 
 
Cleveland 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Tampa Bay 
 
Green Bay 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST9:00 CT6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00
San Francisco 
Saturday, Aug. 27
Kansas City 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Chicago 
 
Detroit 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Baltimore 
 
Philadelphia 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Indianapolis 
 
NY Giants 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
NY Jets 
 
Tennessee 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Oakland 
 
Los Angeles 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST8:00 CT5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET0:00
Denver 
Sunday, Aug. 28
San Diego 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Minnesota 
 
Arizona 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Houston 
 
Cincinnati 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Jacksonville 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Aug. 24
Winston-Salem Open (ATP)
Third Round
J. Millman5 6 6   
B. Fratangelo7 0 3   
D. Schwartzma4 0    
Y. Lu6 6    
(1) R. Gasquet6 6    
S. Robert1 3    
(3) P. Cuevas3 61    
(16) P. Carreno Bu6 77    
(12) A. Kuznetsov5     
J. Vesely5     
(2) R. Bautista A4 6 6   
(14) M. Baghdatis6 3 1   
(4) S. Johnson4 67    
(15) F. Verdasco6 79    
(6) S. Querrey2 65    
(9) V. Troicki6 77    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Aug. 24
Connecticut Open (WTA)
Second Round
S. Rogers61 4    
J. Larsson77 6    
(2) R. Vinci6 6    
A. Konjuh2 2    
C. Garcia63 5    
K. Flipkens77 7    
(6) P. Kvitova6 6    
E. Bouchard3 2