MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Adaptive Sports Junior Nationals were held in Minnesota this past week and if there’s one lasting impression to take away from it, it’s the resolve of these young people.

Lucas Jundt of Kenosha, Wisconsin, would tell you it’s hard to describe just how incredible it is to be able to run a race when you don’t have legs.

“It’s just an amazing feeling. Every time before I get on the track, I pray,” Jundt said.

Jundt would also tell you those prayers involve a lot of thankfulness. He was born in China, but he doesn’t know what day. That’s right, he doesn’t know his own birthday.

“But we go by January 26, 2004,” Jundt said, which would make him 15 now.

When he was 7 years old, he was adopted from an orphanage and his new parents brought him home to the United States. Six months later, he had both of his legs amputated just below the knee.

“I have a ton of missing bones in the legs,” Jundt said. “The amputation was so I could not feel the pain anymore.”

And it wasn’t long before Jundt was walking.

“Disobeyed my doctor. He said you need to wait nine weeks, and I said forget it,” Jundt said.

But it wasn’t until this year that Jundt found his real passion – running. He started this past January right around his birthday. He runs the 100, 200 and 400, and he also does the long jump and javelin.

“It just makes me calm. The javelin I can throw because I can throw all of my frustration into that field and just chuck that thing. And when I’m running, it just feels like peace,” Jundt said.

Which brings us back to the thankfulness. For a guy who’s been through so much, being able to do so much is a blessing.

David McCoy

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