Bryshon Nellum Makes Olympic Track Team with Leg Injuries
10 months ago
Sprinter was mistaken for rival gang member in 2008 shooting incident
The words "full recovery" hardly describe the extraordinary achievement of Bryshon Nellum, a track and field athlete sidelined four years ago by gang violence in Los Angeles.
On Sunday, Nellum qualified for the U.S. Olympic track team with a third place finish in 400-meter dash, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In 2008, men who mistook Nellum for a rival gang member shot the now 23-year-old University of Southern California start in the legs.
From the LAT story:
"It's crazy because I never did fall to the ground. I kept going, just to run to safety," (Nellum said of the shooting) … "I hopped and skipped on one leg to safety. And ever since then I've just been recovering."
That process was slowed by three operations, the last on his left hamstring last August. But he reached a pinnacle on Sunday when he finished third in the men's 400-meter race at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in a personal-best 44.80 seconds and earned a berth on the London Olympic team.
"I'm here, I have the medal around my neck, I've got team processing papers, got an American flag, got my flowers," he said, "so I guess it's true."
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The two admitted gang members pleaded no contest to attempted murder last August and are serving 15 years in state prison.
Nellum shared thoughts on his weekend victory and his recovery. View the video below.