PERQUIMANS COUNTY, NC – Wendy Gardner, from Perquimans County, has her eye on Tokyo.

“My hand is not working, I had a wrist fusion, my hand and my fingers are not bending,” she said.

Gardner has to bite with her teeth to pull the trigger and shoot an arrow when she is practicing archery. She adapted after being able-bodied once.

“I had a stroke after the birth of my first child 20 years ago and I was paralyzed on the left side of my body,” she said.

After two decades of thinking that sports were not an option for her, she went to the Vegas Shoot, an archery tournament, where she saw a suitable athlete archery with her feet. .

“I said if he could do it, so could I,” Gardner said.

Not letting her disabilities put her aside, her husband equipped her with suitable equipment for filming.

“My first big competition was in Richmond last year, called the Target Nationals,” she said.

Gardner won, but kept an eye on the target, competing in the Paralympic Archery Trials last June.

“I never thought I would win. I thought, ‘It’s fun, I’m just having a good time,'” she said.

This week Gardner left for the Czech Republic to compete one last time. If she wins, she will travel to the Tokyo Paralympic Games in late August.

“It’s crazy, I never thought I would do that,” she said. “I would love to represent the United States and show that you just have to be positive and that you can do whatever you want.”

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