Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

U.S. Adaptive Sports Team - Derik Smith to compete in Thailand at 2020 World Cup


November 21, 2019

Courtesy Photos

Smith, prior to sprinting leg change.

Derik Smith was born with pseudarthrosis of the Tibia and at the age of nine, after nine surgeries, made the decision to have his leg amputated so that he could continue to play in the sports that he loves. "It's football, not feetball, and I am going to play," Derik told his Mom. And play he does. Derik is a defensive and tight end on his varsity football team. He plays basketball, runs track, throws the discus and competes in the long jump. "Competing in football, track or any sport makes me feel equal to everyone else." Said Derik. As he sees it there is always someone who wins and someone who loses. "Either way, all the athletes are competing for the same thing," Derik said. Derik's determination and spirit have taken him a long way.

Derik sees his life as a bit of a race. Once when he was lined up for the 100 meter at a meet in Arizona he let out a pretty large sigh and David Prince told him, "Just run your race Derik." The advice stuck and as Derik sees it, that's what he does. "That's what I do, every time, win or lose. Just move forward. I am holding the rope that is tied to the mountain in front of me, I might as well move it." Derik said. Derik's spirit is strong and he's working hard to make sure that his body follows the same path. "If I could play eight sports in high school, I would, by playing a different sport, it can help build strength in parts of my body that may be neglected in other sports." Said Derik.

Derik's participation in track brought him to the attention of the US Adaptive Sports Team for the 2020 World Cup in Thailand where he was selected as a member of the team. Derik will travel to Thailand in February of 2020 and hopefully to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in August. Derik's talent along with his speed, strength, and drive will surely take him far in the games in Thailand, and the determination to head all the way to Tokyo.

Derik's mother Charlene is a Pine Bluffs alumni, and used to work at this very paper. We here at the Post wish Derik all the best in his endeavors. If you would like to follow the story of Derik please check out his instagram at oneleggedderik.


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