Cross country runner becomes first athlete with cerebral palsy to get Nike endorsement

Local News

An amazing story that proves dreams can come true with hard work and determination. 

Parents Brent and Tracy Gallegos have so much to be proud of in their son, Justin.  He’s a college student and a cross-country runner at the University of Oregon who just scored an endorsement contract from Nike.

Brent tells us, “There’s been many moments along his story – where he surprises us and these great things happen.”

Justin made great things happen in the face of great adversity.  He has a condition that affects muscle and motor function that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a pro runner.  And, last weekend, after Justin’s college race, a representative from Nike showed up, surprised him with a contract, and captured the moment in the video above. 

“I’ve never seen him that emotional. Never.” No, never.” 

Tracy says, “He’s worked very hard for it and when he sets his goals he sets them very high. He says I make my goals very high and so scary that I have to go for them.”

We spoke with Justin tonight about this moment via Facetime from Oregon.  “I’m still kinda in shock that it happened,” he tells us.  And, he hopes his story will help inspire others.  “You don’t have to let your disability or physical impairment stop you.”

Tracy says, “You can do anything you put your mind to – it doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not. And Justin is living proof of that.”

Tom Wait, KCAL9 News

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