Autistic Athlete Competes in Triathlon
Today, Zachary Hemmick competed in the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon. His father Stephen says Zack's athletic talent comes from his autism, and his discipline comes from the therapy he has had for it:
"He developed a strength, a fortitude, that is beyond what most of us possess, because even as a 3-year-old, he was required to spend hours doing what was most difficult for him to do, and what he least wanted to do," Stephen Hamrick said.
Zack mastered the bicycle in a day. He learned to swim on his own, and over the years has developed an ungainly but effective stroke. Since 2008, father and son have trained for a half-dozen triathlons.
It helps that Zack doesn’t think of training as work. "The competitive part is really lost on him," said Nancy Hamrick, Zack’s mother, who is a social worker. "It’s just fun."