Eagle Scout David Blair won a gold medal and extended his own world record in the men’s discus F44 on Friday at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Blair, whom I profiled last week, hurled the discus 64.11 meters — breaking his previous world record of 63.61 meters, set in May.
The man who earned Scouting’s highest honor in Troop 318 of Utah’s Trapper Trails Council turns 41 later this month.
He had taken a 16-year break from the sport, spending time as a computer programmer, father to four and a Scoutmaster for Troop 1069 of the Utah National Parks Council.
On Friday, as he prepared to step onto that concrete circle, he let the moment sink in.
“Before I went into the ring for my last throw I thought about my return, the world record, first place and that I’ve got it locked in,” Blair told TeamUSA.org. “I wanted to throw another one for fun, and it was fun.”
And so on his third attempt, he sent that discus flying and became a Paralympics champion.
Blair, who was born with a club foot, told me that a disability doesn’t have to be limiting. And that’s a lesson solidified for him in Scouting, which has always supported Scouts with physical or mental challenges.
“The sooner you learn that people really don’t notice or think about your disability for longer than just a couple seconds, the sooner you can free up your mind to think of more pleasant and productive things,” he said. “I have found in my personal experience that a ‘disability’ is almost always a matter of attitude.”
Watch David Blair’s medal ceremony