The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by recognizing a pair of Tennessee State paralympians.
In 2004, Ryan Fann made school history when he won a gold medal in the Paralympics. Fann teamed up with three other athletes to win the 4 x 400-meter relay in world-record time.
However, Fann's road to gold was anything but easy. At the age of three, Fann was struck by a car while playing outside of his family's house. After being rushed to the hospital, the doctors told Fann's family that the prognosis wasn't good and that his foot would need to be amputated.
Fann received a prosthetic leg and after learning to cope with his new appendage, joined the football team. Fann was so good at football that he made a high school all-star game and was named his team's MVP. It was at the game that Fann was noticed by a scout and convinced him to train for the Paralympics.
Fann came to Tennessee State and trained on the same track that produced stars like Wilma Rudolph and Mae Faggs. Fann was invited to the Paralympics in Greece in 2004 where he won his gold medal and a bronze medal in the 400-meter dash.
Markeith Price is another paralympian following in Fann's footsteps and is training to win his own gold medal while attending TSU.
As a sprinter and a jumper, Price has not allowed his disability to hold back his efforts in competing in track and field. He was born with his vision impaired and has been involved in the sport since the age of 11, since then, competing on different levels.
Back in 2005, he won gold medals for the long jump and the 600m in the IBSA World Youth Championships. He added a silver medal in 2007 in the triple jump at the IBSA World Games, and in 2009 at the IBSA Pan American Games, he won the event and added a gold medal in the 400m.
According to the U.S Association of Blind Athletes Indoor Track & Field, Price currently holds the records for the 200m, 400m, 800m, and long jump.
Price made another appearance in world championship competition competing as a member of the 2011 U.S. Paralympics' Team for the International Paralympics Athletic World Track & Field Championships held in New Zealand.
Price participated in the international multi-sport event in January in which athletes with physical disabilities compete against each other in different tiers based on the person's disability.
In the T-3 category, which classifies Price as legally blind, he finished 6th in the long jump (6.43m) out of 12 internationally ranked competitors and 4th in the 200m dash (23.68) out of nine ranked opponents.
Price is currently training for the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics.
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.
Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.
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