Tokyo Paralympics: Record holder shot putter Hagan Landry hopes to win gold for grandmother
"Dream as if you'll live forever, love as if there's no tomorrow, live today as if you're dying” is what shot put player Hagan Landry believes in to push himself harder in the game. The 4feet 3inch track and field star, who is currently gearing up for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, will be representing Team USA on August 24.
Landry is the son of former track star Martin Gill and Shan Pearson. The New Orleans native always wanted to be a professional football player but his dwarfism ruined his plans. However, not getting affected by his physical limitations, Hagan turned his life upside down by dedicating his life to shot put. The member of Louisiana Mudbugs began competing in athletics in 2013 and was named US Paralympics Track and Field High School All-American for discus, javelin, and shot put in the same year. Speaking of Tokyo Paralympic Games, Scot Severn is another shot put player, the sports lovers will be keeping an eye on. Wheelchair racer Joshua George, athlete Tatyana McFadden, and sprinter Jonathan Gore are also some of the favorites this year.
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Gold for grandmother
Landry, who is heavily inspired by Paralympian Scott Danberg, is aiming for Gold at Tokyo Paralympic Games and despite being born with achondroplasia dwarfism, Landry’s short stature has never slowed him down. The second-ranked world shot putter, who is training six days a week, hopes to bag gold for the person who stood by him through thick and thin and only pushed him for the better- his grandmother, Marnel Fremin.
Shedding light on the same, Hagan asserted, “It was a dream, but don’t get me wrong, there were times it was like ‘Is this dream actually going to be a reality? We had those questions, but my grandmother helped me stick to it, her and my dad and the rest of my family, and as we can see it took a couple of years- it took four before I made my first two international teams.” He concluded, “It took some time before I made the first (international) teams. It was tough”, as reported by The Daily Iberian.
The Tokyo dream
Landry has high hopes for this year’s Paralympic games. The shot putter has won gold at the ParaPan Games, which are officially the VI Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in 2019. He achieved the feat after he secured the fourth position in the shot put at the World Championships in Dubai in his first big international meet in the same year. He is also the American record holder for shot put with a 47 foot throw. His dreams shattered when he failed to qualify for Rio Paralympic Games in 2016. However, like always his family stood by him. With a razor-sharp focus, Hagan now aims to win top position after he qualified for this year’s game.
Speaking about prepping from the last few years, he said, “Honestly, the last couple of years my life has been training to make this Tokyo team and world championship teams in between.” Hagan also revealed how he realized him playing shot put was a full-time job when Adidas picked him in 2019 to support his dream and also when his social media platforms witnessed a sharp spike. “And just got recognition on social media- my following went up, and that’s when it finally hit me, ‘Oh snap, I’m a professional athlete now. I’m getting paid for what I do. It’s my full-time job.” Landry will be a very busy man as after the Tokyo Paralympic Games, he will head to the World Champions in 2022, and 2023. Then in 2024, he will again gear up for the next edition of the Paralympic games.