Disabled mother to compete in Paralympics - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Disabled mother to compete in Paralympics

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PERRY, Ga. -

It takes dedication and hard work to be a world-class athlete. And for one woman, her training is paying off. The middle Georgia woman is beating the odds and heading to London to represent the United States in the Paralympic games.

Lee Ford first picked up a bow and arrow on a girl's getaway.  And now just four years later she says she can't put it down until she's gotten the gold.

For the Perry native, dexterity and strength are important for what she's about to do. She's an archer.

The wife and mother can now boast that she is a Paralympic archer.

"In the beginning I couldn't hit the side of the barn if I was in it," said Lee Ford.

The event for athletes with disabilities is held a few weeks after the Olympics, usually in the same city. And Ford says Paralympic athletes have the same dedication to their sport.

"It takes almost more work than to get to the Olympics because first you have to deal with your disability. And for some people it's a challenge just to get out of bed," said Ford.

Ford suffers from a degenerative spine condition. Just five months ago, she had a spinal fusion surgery just to keep her upright. She now walks with a limp and can't stand or walk for long periods of time. But none of that stops her from being at the top of her game. By the end of last year she was ranked in the top "sweet 16 of archers" and that ranking includes able-bodied archers.

"She's a coaches dream almost. She'll do whatever you ask her to do. She works as hard as anybody I've ever had. She's got the passion," said Ford's coach, Jim White.

Ford counts every arrow she shoots.

"I like to do at least 150 a day, closer to 200 is better," said Ford.

All the hard work helped her bring home the gold from the Para Pan Am games in Mexico last year. But she says Paralympic gold is her next target.

"It's a dream that will have come true. When I was 5-years-old and seeing the Olympics, saying I want to be there but how is that going to happen. But then I found archery and realized that dream's going come true. That dream is going to come true," said Ford.

Paralympics are set to begin at the end of august in London. Ford says her long-term goal is to qualify in 2016 for both the Olympics and the Paralympics.

For more information about Ford and to find out how you can help sponsor her Paralympic goals, visit http://www.facebook/teamfordarchery.

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