Make a DIFFERENCE for Orlando Perez, a Puerto Rican Paralympian!

 

WE DID IT!!!

Hillary SappPark City, UT, United States

FEB 24, 2022 — 

Thank you all so much for your support! Team Puerto Rico is heading to Beijing!!!! We couldn’t have done this without you all. Thank you for showing Orlando Perez support, and being behind him through this adventure.

Help Orlando Perez, Puerto Rican Skier, get to the PARALYMPICS in Beijing:

Meet Orlando Perez, a U.S. Veteran and Paralympic alpine skier from Caguas, Puerto Rico. In 2018 Orlando impressed his ambition upon the International Paralympic Committee to compete in the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. Having been formally invited and accepted to compete in the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, Orlando made travel reservations and paid his way to Beijing. At the 11th hour, Orlando was informed that there was a clerical issue in the paperwork for his participation and he is now being told he will not be allowed to compete.


The big question is, why would Orlando receive acceptance to participate (requiring an application process) and then be rejected at the last moment?
Is a clerical issue a big enough issue to stop this Paralympian from the honor of representing his country and the pride of all his dedicated training put into action?
Please join us in signing this petition to the International Paralympic Committee in stating:
LET ORLANDO COMPETE!
Then share this petition with your family, friends, and social media accounts – we need as many signatures as we can get and time is of the essence! The opening ceremony for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games is this Friday, March 4th.

https://twitter.com/Orlando13112859/status/1496302611557134336


Get to Know Orlando
Originally from Caguas, Puerto Rico, a city known as the “cradle of the Puerto Rican identity,”. Orlando served in the US Army and was injured in the line of duty, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. As you can imagine, his life changed drastically. Adjusting from serving as a Soldier in the US Army (some of the toughest people you will ever meet) to being unable to use his legs; can you imagine what that must have felt like? Not just physically, but mentally. Suddenly his life is filled with insurmountable mountains but now they look like something most people take for granted: stairs. Recovery from something like this is a lot like traversing mountain tops, down into valleys, and back up again. It is a mental, physical, and spiritual struggle. Not to mention the loss of a career and an identity in the US military. The stresses of taking care of yourself and your family – it all takes a toll, and it takes the support of family and friends. The kind of support that encourages when nothing feels possible.

Orlando credits his wife for persuading him to attend the 1999 National Wheelchair Games (four years after his injury): “I thought it was a pity game. I thought it was a bunch of hospital chairs and a bunch of people running slow. Once I saw the crashes and the motivation of everybody – that got me up” (wrdw.com, 10 Sep 2012; pva.org 27 Jul 2012). Spoken like a true soldier, Orlando was ready for battle.

That year, Orlando received Puerto Rico Wheelchair Basketball Rookie of the Year Award (usocpressbox.org, 20 Jun 2007).and in 2005 Orlando was awarded as the Veteran Wheelchair Games Spirit of the Games Award (va.gov, 20 Jun 2007).

In 2017 Orlando was invited to be the flag bearer for Puerto Rico at the Wheelchair Basketball Americas Cup in Cali, Colombia (tunoticiapr.com, 17 Aug 2017) that year, Orlando retired from wheelchair basketball and took up para-alpine skiing for Puerto Rico – his motto: “bring on the challenges, because I love to overcome them” (discovernac.org).

Orlando doesn’t just participate in sport to compete, the sport and the camaraderie involved allow Orlando to push his perceived limitations and learn how to help others along the way. With his track record of military service and his ambition to compete as a Paralympic alpine skier, Orlando demonstrates a deeply embedded ethos, a sacred commitment even, to “never leave a fallen comrade”. Sometimes a fallen comrade may need to be physically carried, and other times – a fallen comrade needs to feel and see the support of their fellow service members, often this looks like witnessing them overcoming insurmountable challenges – like Orlando Perez becoming a Paralympic alpine skier.

Why this sport? Previously a wheelchair basketball player, he retired from the sport in 2017. He then took up Para alpine skiing after hearing that Puerto Rico was in need of athletes to take part in the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. “I found something that I can keep up with right next to everybody else. Able-bodied skiers, sit-down skiers, we can all go as fast as we want. If I don’t make it, it’s all me, and I like that. I like to put that pressure on myself, because it’s just going to help open my mind to how I can help others.”

Orlando with Move United

More on FACEBOOK at Orlando Perez PUR Ski Team

From National Ability Center: “Bring on the challenges because I love to overcome them!

Accomplishments: Played for the Puerto Rico Paralympic Basketball Team. 4 international medals
Goals: Continue representing Puerto Rico at the Paralympic Games

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.5 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers”

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