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"The Comeback Kid"
Andy Bailey is an active triathlete, a fierce competitor and he does it all as a single leg amputee. Did we mention he's 74? Jeri, his wife of 44 years, refers to him as "The Comeback Kid".
Andy grew up in Newport Beach, CA, playing beach volleyball, surfing and running and then discovered his love for the sport of triathlon in his late 40's, competing in over 150 races. Andy and Jeri shared a love for an active lifestyle, planning their vacations around marathons across the country.
At the age of 68, Andy was outside washing his car after a trip to Sedona, AZ when he was struck by a run-away service van and thrown 12 feet away. Andy's leg was left mangled from the accident and after many infections, complications and 14 frustrating months of an inactive lifestyle; Andy made the difficult decision to amputate his right leg below the knee.
An active competitor his whole life, Andy knew he had to get back onto the course after his accident. After getting in touch with a great prosthetist, the right equipment (an everyday leg, swim leg, cycling leg and Ossur Flex-run leg), attending CAF clinics and events and the support of his loving wife, Andy created a new life for himself - doing all of the things he used to do but with a new perspective. In March of this year, Andy came in 2nd place in his age group at the Desert Triathlon and was finally able to beat an able bodied athlete. He has competed in several 5k runs and triathlons, including the 1.2 mile swim at CAF's San Diego Triathlon Challenge. What Andy lost in his accident, he has gained in new friendships and accomplishments in the sports community since. In his words, "Competition for me is the process of becoming a whole person again."
Andy has been a long time member, even prior to his accident, of the Orange County Tri Club that raises funds for CAF annually through an auction and event. He now continues to help raise funds as an ambassador on behalf of CAF and Operation Rebound. CAF has
played an active role in Andy's recent achievements. He has cultivated positive relationships with other likeminded athletes through CAF events and has attended over 10 CAF Catch a Rising Star swim, bike, run, rock climbing and mobility clinics which teach technique in the use of adaptive sports equipment.
Andy inspires other athletes through his story of resilience and proves that regardless of age or ability, there is life after amputation. They don't call him the comeback kid for nothing!
What's next for Andy?
Swimming in a Sprint Triathlon in September
CAF's San Diego Triathlon Challenge on 10/21/12 at La Jolla Cove, CA
Reverse Triathlon in December
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