2021 Tokyo Paralympic GamesRyan Pinney
People are often asking me about what my biggest takeaway was from my experience in Tokyo. I honestly have to say it was all of it. Even though this was a different Paralympics then any other Paralympics because of the worldly conditions, I made it a point to go there and enjoy every aspect of the experience. My family has sacrificed so much for me to be there over the last 5 years that if I don’t enjoy everything, then I feel like I would be dishonoring their sacrifice. Even though they were not able to go, they were able to watch more than they have ever been able to watch in previous Paralympic Games. And, I was going to make the most and take the most out of my experience.
I got to experience a little bit of the culture and the people of Japan. The people were some of the most welcoming and hospitable people I have ever experienced in any country. I got to experience the Mount Fuji area of Japan and take in the beauty of their land. And then, in my first Paralympic Games, I got to experience the fiercest competition on the most difficult course the world has ever seen. We were expecting it to be hot and humid, and it was, until it was not. When the races began, the weather turned and I got to experience some of the craziest racing conditions I could even imagine. Being from Arizona, I am not used to wet and cold conditions, but that is what I got. It was beautiful. I got to experience God in a way that I never thought possible. I got to literally praise Him in the storm. And then He blessed me with a Bronze Medal in the Team Relay, just because He can. But, He also Blessed me with by allowing me to share my first Paralympic Medal with my very good friend, Freddy De Los Santos, who has been there for me from the very beginning of my para-cycling career. My experiences from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games is something that I will cherish for the rest of my days and share the stories with my daughter, her children, and their children’s children if I am so blessed. I could not have accomplished this racing year without Loma Linda and Team PossAbilities as a vital partner in my career and helping to get me on the Team USA Paralympic Cycling Team and to the highest level of my sport. And to the Lord whom I give all the credit and all the glory.