Tommy is an accomplished athlete with Autism from Ottawa, Canada.
Tommy was always a “runner” (kids with Autism often run off or wander) and has had an Autism Service Dog to help keep him safe since age 7 (first Sara, then Matrix, and now Adel) In 2006 he began running (in the correct direction!) daily with his Dad and Matrix (his dog at the time). Soon, they could no longer keep up! His Dad now rides a bike beside him during runs. He now trains with the Ottawa Lions. As of 2017, Tommy’s PB’s are: 1500m 4:10 3000m 8:57 5k- 15:19 10k- 32:52 Half Marathon 1:10, Marathon 2:38. He is a Para-Athlete in the T-20 (Intellectual Disability) category, and is training with the goal of competing in the Tokyo 2020Paralympic games.
While a high school student attending the Autism Unit at Ottawa Technical Secondary School, Tommy was among the top runners and Nordic skiers in Ottawa, so he participated in these sports with the mainstream high school community. His local results qualified him to race at the Eastern Ontario Track and Field championships twice, and at the Ontario Nordic Ski championships three times.
Tommy loves running local road races, racing for fun and also often finishing with impressive results, and always making new friends 🙂
Tommy also kayaks with “Paddle All” at the Rideau Canoe Club, and won gold medals at the National Championships in 2011 and 2012 in his men’s K1 category.
Tommy rides horses with the Lanark County Therapeutic Riding program.
He sails with the Nepean Sailing Club. He swims, canoes and mountain bikes in the Gatineau Hills where his family has a cottage.
He also enjoys indoor rock climbing!
During 2011 and 2012, Tommy has been treated for running injuries, and has raced less often than usual, however his physiotherapy and recovery plan has been going well. During the time he was not running this year, he spent lots of time paddling, biking on a tandem, and took up his new sport of rock climbing. He is always happy to try a new sport! He often says he would like to try a sport for every letter of the alphabet. The first one would be archery, just like his Disney friend Merida!
Tommy inspires many through his determination, enthusiasm for life, and the huge smile always on his face while doing the things he loves! The Ottawa athletic community, which includes a number of other Para-Athletes and runners with ASD, has warmly embraced Tommy’s uniqueness.