Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Jermain Taylor

Jermain Taylor was born on 11 August, 1978 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Jermain Taylor is a professional American boxer and former undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Jermain Taylor currently has a record of 27-2-1, with 17 wins coming by way of knockout.

Jermain Taylor’s amateur career was stacked with accolades beginning with the 1996 Under-19 Championship; he then won a pair of PAL Championships and National Golden Gloves titles and finished 2nd and 3rd at the 1997 and 1998 U.S. Championships respectively.

Jermain Taylor then progressed to the next level in his amateur career by winning a bronze medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games. Jermain Taylor also competed in the 1998″Boxer of the Year” award in Texas, coming in an impressive 6th out of 452 entries.

Jermain Taylor was the 1st boxer from Arkansas ever to compete in the Olympic Games. The progression of fights to qualify for a spot on the US Team was as follows:

Defeated Fritz Roberts (Virgin Islands) TKO 2
Defeated Luis Sierra (Puerto Rico) TKO 3
Defeated Scott MacIntosh (Canada) on points
Defeated Hely Yanes (Venezuela) on points
Competing at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Taylor ended up winning the bronze medal.

The progression of fights at the Olympics was as follows:

Defeated Dmitry Usagin (Bulgaria) RSC 1
Defeated Scott MacIntosh (Canada) 23-9
Defeated Adnan Catic (Germany) 19-14
Lost to Yermakhan Ibraimov (Kazakhstan) RSC 4

Amateur highlights:

1998 United States Amateur Light Middleweight Champion.

Results included:

Defeated Yamar Resto on points
Defeated Philip Thrasher on points
Defeated Chris Lords on points
Defeated Anthony Hanshaw on points

1999 United States Amateur Championships at Light Middleweight.

Results were:

Defeated Santiago Rodriguez WDQ 3
Defeated Peter Manfredo Jr TKO 2
Lost to Anthony Hanshaw on points
1999 National Golden Gloves Champion at Light Middleweight.

Results were:

Defeated Jason Aaker by split decision
Defeated Peter Manfredo Jr on points
Defeated David Leal on points
Defeated Dorian Beaupierre on points
Defeated Anthony Hanshaw on points

Since early in his professional career, Jermain Taylor had been touted by many as being the heir apparent to middleweight king Bernard Hopkins. Jermain Taylor dominated all of his opponents at the beginning of his career, scoring wins over respectable fighters such as Raul Marquez and William Joppy (although both were at the end of their careers). On 19 February, 2005, Jermain Taylor defeated the previously unbeaten Daniel Edouard via TKO in round 3. With this win, Jermain Taylor earned a title bout against Bernard Hopkins, who had unified the four major world middleweight titles and was rated by Ring Magazine as the #1 “pound for pound” boxer in the world.

Jermain Taylor fought Bernard Hopkins for the undisputed middleweight championship on 16 July, 2005. Jermain Taylor was more active than the slow-starting Bernard Hopkins early in the fight, missing many of his punches but still winning the early rounds on the official score cards. While Bernard Hopkins gradually became more active and maintained his defense, Jermain Taylor continued to fight aggressively and won some of the middle rounds. Over the last 4 rounds, however, Bernard Hopkins became the aggressor and battered Jermain Taylor, shrinking Jermain Taylor’s lead on the scorecards. Nonetheless, Jermain Taylor survived the late surge and won the fight by split decision to become the new undisputed middleweight champion.

On 3 December, 2005, Jermain Taylor won the rematch against Bernard Hopkins again by a unanimous decision. All 3 judges scored the bout 115-113.

On 17 June, 2006, Jermain Taylor faced off against the number 1 contender, Winky Wright at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. Winky Wright surprised many by taking the fight to Jermain Taylor from the starting bell. From early on in the bout Winky Wright was able to trap Jermain Taylor in the corners and land combinations. The bigger and stronger Jermain Taylor, who threw more punches, owned the center of the ring. Jermain Taylor’s trainer, Manny Steward, urged Jermain Taylor to stay off the ropes. At several points, Jermain Taylor seemed close to overwhelming Winky Wright with power punches, but Winky Wright always responded with a flurry of his own to keep the match close. Midway through the bout, Jermain Taylor’s left eye started to swell dangerously.

By the end of the 11th, the fight was close, with Winky Wright holding a slight edge coming off a strong round. In the 12th, he seemed to have Jermain Taylor off guard with quick footwork and strong boxing, but Jermain Taylor rallied back. The match was scored 115-113 Jermain Taylor, 115-113 Winky Wright and 114-114, and Jermain Taylor retained his middleweight title. After the fight, an incensed Winky Wright left the ring quickly. When Larry Merchant managed to interview him later, Winky Wright made it clear that he felt he had done enough to win. “He didn’t do nothing in the 12th,” he said. “The fans saw I won that fight.” Jermain Taylor was complimentary of his opponent, saying that he did not think he had hurt Winky Wright, whose jab was faster than the champ expected. But, he added, “If he wanted the title so bad, he should have fought all 12 rounds.”

On 9 December, 2006, Jermain Taylor fought Kassim Ouma at the Alltel Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The match was made because Winky Wright pulled out of a 2nd December rematch, that had been previously scheduled. Fighting in front of 10,119 in attenance, Jermain Taylor repeatedly drilled Kassim Ouma with vicious shots that included numerous uppercuts that repeatedly jolted the undersized Kassim Ouma. Nevertheless, Kassim Ouma never backed off his attack against Jermain Taylor. Jermain Taylor suffered a deep cut in the corner of his left eyelid from an accidental clash of heads in the 5th round, and despite blood periodically flowing for much of the bout, Jermain Taylor continued to hammer away and score the win by unanimous decision.

On 19 May, 2007, Jermain Taylor fought Cory Spinks in Memphis, Tennessee. Jermain Taylor won by split decision over Cory Spinks to retain his title.

On 29 September, 2007, Jermain Taylor fought undefeated Caucasian Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City. Jermain Taylor dropped Kelly Pavlik in round 2 and came close to scoring a stoppage, yet Kelly Pavlik bravely made it through the round and was able to get back into the fight. Coming into round 7 Jermain Taylor was leading on all 3judge’s scorecards but lost his title to Kelly Pavlik when the referee stopped the fight after Jermain Taylor was suddenly knocked out late in the round. In post-match interview, Jermain Taylor said “I thought I was losing so I wasted a lot of energy trying to finish him off”, indicating an agreement with Kelly Pavlik who also thought he was winning on the judges’ scorecards. For the fight against Kelly Pavlik, Jermain Taylor was trained by Manny Steward.

There was a rematch clause in the contract of the Pavlik-Taylor fight, if Jermain Taylor lost. An above-middleweight rematch took place on 16 February, 2008 in Las Vegas with Jermain Taylor losing by unanimous decision.

Jermain Taylor will fight Jeff Lacy on 15 November in a WBC super middleweight eliminator on HBO.

Jermain Taylor is known to be a huge fan of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Jermain Taylor gained immense popularity in the state for frequently mentioning how proud he was to be from Arkansas, and has visited the Arkansas campus to talk to various sporting teams. Jermain Taylor now sports a large Razorback on the back of his boxing robe, and “ARKANSAS” is spelled out prominently on his boxing trunks.

Jermain Taylor is married to former Louisiana Tech and former WNBA player Erica Taylor. Jermain Taylor is a graduate of McClellan Magnet High School, Class of 1997.

Jermain Taylor was also a playable boxing character in the video game Fight Night Round 3.

Jermain Taylor struggles with stuttering, mainly when he gets nervous, such as when doing numerous interviews as a boxing champion.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Miha Zupan

Miha Zupan was born on 13 September 1982 in Kranj, SR Slovenia, Yugoslavia. Miha is a Slovenian basketball player. Despite being deaf since birth, he plays among hearing players at the highest level in Europe. A 2.04 m (6 ft 8½ in) power forward who can also play center when needed, he currently plays for his country’s best-known club, regular Euroleague participant Union Olimpija.

Miha spent most of his childhood in a special school for the deaf, eventually learning to speak. An unspecified type of hearing aid would later give him enough hearing to understand speech. Miha did not learn to play basketball until age 14, instead playing football and volleyball. After his first basketball coach spotted him in a schoolyard, he took to the game quickly, soon joining Slovenia’s national basketball team for the deaf, which twice made the finals of the European championships with Miha as its star. At age 17, he signed his first contract with a regular professional team, KD Slovan of Ljubljana. During his teenage years, he grew 20 cm (8 inches) in an 18-month period, leading to knee problems that sidelined him for several months early in his pro career.

At Slovan, he developed into a promising big man, soon making the (regular) Slovenia junior and under-20 national teams. Miha played in the Slovenian League All-Star Game in 2004 and 2006, earning MVP honors in the 2004 game and also winning the slam dunk contest associated with the 2004 game. Miha continued to play for the Slovenia national deaf team, leading them to the 2004 European championship.

In the 2005-06 season with Slovan, he averaged 11.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in Slovenian League play. Miha’s statistics in the Adriatic League were arguably more impressive, considering that he played only 23 minutes per game in that competition; he averaged 13.2 points and 3.9 rebounds and also shot 47.3% from three-point range.

Miha signed with Union Olimpija, also of Ljubljana, in the 2006 offseason, fulfilling what he called one of his lifelong dreams. Miha also barely missed out on a trip to the 2006 FIBA World Championship, becoming the last player cut from the Slovenia squad. Miha’s chance to play for Union Olimpija in the Euroleague was on hold for several months because his transfer became the subject of litigation between them and Slovan. Miha had, apparently inadvertently, failed to revoke his contract with Slovan before signing with Union Olimpija. Union Olimpija had registered him at the start of the 2006-07 season, and he played 6 fixtures in the Adriatic League before Slovan contested the registration. Union Olimpija won the first round of the legal battle in August 2006, but on 23 October, an appellate court set aside the decision and ordered a new trial. Union Olimpija announced that it would appeal the ruling. This ruling also, for the time being, prevented him from becoming the first deaf player ever to play in the Euroleague, as he had been scheduled to play in Union Olimpija’s first game of Euroleague regular-season play against Croatian side Cibona on 26 October 2006.

The legal battle raged until late February 2007, when Union Olimpija and Slovan reached a settlement. After Union Olimpija paid an undisclosed fee to Slovan, they finally registered him officially on 1 March. The settlement proved timely for Union Olimpija, as they had seen 6 players leave the team during the season, and had 2 other players out with injury. While Miha was unable to play during the 2006-07 Euroleague, as Union Olimpija had been eliminated by the time of the settlement, he arrived in time for the late rounds of the Adriatic League and for the 2nd stage of the Slovenian domestic league.

On 24 October 2007, Miha finally became the first deaf player in the Euroleague, appearing for Union Olimpija in their 80-52 loss at Montepaschi Siena in the opening week of regular season play in the 2007-08 Euroleague. Miha had 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in slightly over 13 minutes of action off the bench.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Greg Louganis

Gregory (“Greg”) Efthimios Louganis was born on 29 January, 1960 in El Cajon, California, USA. Greg is an American diver, who is best known for winning back-to-back Olympic titles in both the 3m and 10m diving events. Greg received the James E. Sullivan Award from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in 1984 as the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Greg is of Samoan/Swedish descent and was raised in California by his adoptive parents, a Greek-American couple.

At age 16, he took part in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, where he placed second in the tower event, behind Italian Klaus Dibiasi. Two years later, with Dibiasi retired, Greg went on to win his first world title in the same event.

In 1978, he accepted a diving scholarship to the University of Miami where he studied theater, but in 1981 transferred to the University of California, Irvine, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.

The rise of the Chinese to dominance in the sport is in part attributable to Greg, as the Chinese coaches filmed and studied his performances assiduously, and built their national approach to diving on the mechanics they were able to discern in his technique, and upon their communications with leading coaches such as Hobie Billingsley.

Greg was a favorite for two golds in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but an American boycott of the games prevented him from participating.

Greg won 2 world titles in 1982, and in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, with record scores and leads over his opponents. Greg won gold medals in both the springboard and tower diving events.

After winning 2 more world championship titles in 1986, he repeated his 1984 feat in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, although not without difficulties. In what is considered one of the greatest feats in sporting history, Greg suffered an injury, hitting his head on the diving board during the preliminary rounds while performing a reverse 2 1/2 pike; he completed the preliminaries, despite a concussion, then went on to repeat the dive during the finals, with nearly perfect scores, earning him the gold medal. Greg’s comeback earned him the title of ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year for 1988.

Greg posed nude for Playgirl magazine in 1987.

In 1994, Greg announced he was gay; he took part in the 1994 Gay Games as diving announcer, and performed an exhibition of several dives to a standing-room only crowd of nearly 3,000 spectators.

In 1995, Greg’s autobiography co-written with Eric Marcus, entitled Breaking the Surface, was published. Greg revealed publicly the domestic abuse and rape he suffered from a live-in lover and that he was HIV-positive. The announcement caused some controversy because of the belief, as expressed by then-United States Olympic Committee executive director Dr. Harvey Schiller, that he should have disclosed his HIV status during the 1988 Olympic games because his diving board injury resulted in light bleeding. Greg had agonized over whether to disclose his status but was later advised by AIDS expert Dr. Anthony Fauci that the injury posed no danger of infection to fellow competitors.

Following the announcement of his HIV status, Greg was dropped by most of his corporate sponsors, with the exception of the aquatics gear manufacturer Speedo, which continued to sponsor him as of 2007.

A 1997 made-for-television movie, Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story, based on the book, starred Mario López as Greg.

In 1999, Greg’s second book, For the Life of Your Dog (co-authored by Betsy Sikora Siino) was published.

Since retiring from competitive diving, Greg has done some acting, most notably appearing in an off-Broadway production of the Paul Rudnick play Jeffrey. As a hobby, he competes at the top level of dog agility with his Jack Russell Terriers. Greg is also the former boyfriend of former E! television personality Steve Kmetko.

Greg was briefly mentioned in the 2005 hit film The Longest Yard. The character Caretaker mentioned Greg whilst explaining Crewe’s, another character, chances of winning a game of 1-on-1 Basketball with D.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Eric Wynalda

Eric Wynalda was born on 9 June, 1969 in Fullerton, California. Eric Wynalda is an American international center forward, currently playing for Bakersfield Brigade in the USL Premier Development League. Eric Wynalda scored the first goal ever in Major League Soccer in 1996 and was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.

Eric Wynalda grew up in Westlake Village, California. As a child his team (the Westlake Wolves) won the state championship in AYSO soccer as Eric Wynalda scored more goals than the entire division his team played in, combined (56 goals in 16 games). Eric Wynalda later attended Westlake High School and was a 3 time All State selection with the school’s boys soccer team and a youth club team mate of fellow national team player Cobi Jones.

Eric Wynalda attended San Diego State University from 1987 to 1989 where he played for the Aztecs men’s soccer team, scoring 34 goals and assisting on 25 others during his three seasons. Eric Wynalda freshman year, SDSU went to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship game where it lost to the Bruce Murray led Clemson Tigers. While at SDSU, he also played two seasons with the local semi-pro San Diego Nomads of the Western Soccer Alliance. In 1988, he played a single game and in 1989, he played 5 games with the Nomads.

Leading up to the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Eric Wynalda signed a contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). After the World Cup, Eric Wynalda signed as an on loan player from USSF with the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks of the American Professional Soccer League. During his nearly 3 seasons with the Blackhawks, he played only a handful of games with the team, devoting most of his time to the national team.

However, in 1992, he experienced a falling out with both the national team and the Blackhawks. In May 1992, national team coach Bora Milutinović kicked Eric Wynalda out of a national team training camp after he elbowed a teammate in the face. A month later, he was kicked off the Blackhawks for being disruptive, and constantly bickering with the coach, Laurie Calloway. When no U.S. based team expressed an interest in Eric Wynalda, he announced his intentions to pursue a move to Europe. In August 1992, USSF loaned Eric Wynalda to Bundesliga club Saarbrücken for $45,000.

When he arrived at Saarbrucken, he became the first American-born player to play for a top level German club. Eric Wynalda had an immediate impact on the club, scoring 8 goals in the first half of the season. This led Saarbrücken to purchase Eric Wynalda’s contract from USSF for $405,000. However, his output dropped after the winter break and he only scored once in the second half. Saarbrücken finished the 1992-1993 at the bottom of the Bundesliga standings and was relegated to the Second Division. Eric Wynalda scored twelve goals in the 1993-1994 season and was transferred to fellow Second Division club VfL Bochum at the end of the season for $850,000. Wynalda failed to equal his scoring exploits with Bochum, and experienced a falling out with the club. Eric Wynalda had a hernia operation on 30 August which put him out of action. While convalesing, he criticized the club and its coach, leading to the coach suspending Eric Wynalda.

Eric Wynalda came back to the States in 1996, signing with Major League Soccer (MLS). As part of the process of creating the new league, known players were distributed throughout the league’s new teams (except for the Dallas Burn, which alone amongst all MLS sides never received a US National Team allocation from the 1994 World Cup era). The league allocated Eric Wynalda to the San Jose Clash. On 6 April, 1996 Eric Wynalda scored the first goal in league history in its inaugural game as the Clash beat D.C. United 1-0. Eric Wynalda was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year.

After the 1998 World Cup, Eric Wynalda began seeking a move back to Europe. While he had publicly declared that he would never return to Germany, including turning down a January 1998 offer from Kaiserslautern, he now began putting out feelers there. When no German teams expressed an interest in Eric Wynalda, he then sought a move to England. In December, he had a trial with Charlton Athletic, but the team did not offer Eric Wynalda a contract and Eric Wynalda returned to the Clash.

Eric Wynalda was loaned out to Club León in Mexico in 1999. Eric Wynalda tore both the ACL and medial meniscus on his left knee while with Leon which put him out of action for several months. After missing the first 11 games of the 1999 season, the Clash traded Eric Wynalda to the Miami Fusion. On 8 July, 2000, the Fusion turned around and traded Eric Wynalda to the New England Revolution for Ivan McKinley after Eric Wynalda failed to improve the Fusion’s offensive output. On 3 May, 2001, the Revs sent him to the Chicago Fire for John Wolyniec, where he finished his MLS career, ending up with a total of 34 MLS goals (plus 2 in the playoffs). In 2002, Eric Wynalda joined the Los Angeles Galaxy, announcing that he planned to retire with the team. However, he left the Galaxy during the team’s pre-season tour of Chile in order to pursue an offer to play professionally in China. When that offer fell through, he returned to the Galaxy only to leave it for the Charleston Battery of the USL First Division after feuding with the MLS front office about his salary. MLS was offering to pay Eric Wynalda $43,000 for the 2002 season which Eric Wynalda considered much too low. As the Battery had offered him $75,000, Eric Wynalda joined that team only to tear his anterier cruciate ligament in a pre-season match. Eric Wynalda elected to retire from professional soccer and became a broadcast announcer.

Eric Wynalda earned his first cap against Costa Rica on 2 February, 1990. On 14 March, 1990, he signed a contract with the United States Soccer Federation which made him a full time national team player. Later that year, Eric Wynalda played in his first World Cup gaining the dubious honor of becoming the first U.S. player to be ejected from a World Cup game. That came when Czechoslovakian midfielder Lubomir Moravcik baited Eric Wynalda in front of a referee. Eric Wynalda, showing his immaturity, retaliated and was shown red.

In the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Eric Wynalda scored on a free kick from 20 yards as the United States tied Switzerland. Eric Wynalda also played in Copa America 1995, where he was named to the all-tournament team after scoring against Chile and Argentina.

In 1998, Eric Wynalda participated in his third World Cup, one of four U.S. players (Tab Ramos, Tony Meola and Marcelo Balboa) to earn that honor. Claudio Reyna and Kasey Keller have since gone on to be named to a record four World Cup rosters.

Eric Wynalda retired from the US National Team as its all-time leading scorer with 34goals in 106 appearances. Eric Wynalda was the sole owner of the record until 2007, when Landon Donovan tied the record with a penalty kick goal against Mexico in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final. Eric Wynalda was named the Honda US Player of the Decade for the 1990s and elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.

In 2005, Bakersfield Brigade of the USL Premier Development League hired Eric Wynalda as its technical director, and in 2007 he agreed a short-term playing contract with the team during the last few matches of their season. On 1 May, 2008 he signed a formal season-long agreement to play the entire campaign with the Brigade as a full member of the 2008 playing squad.

Eric Wynalda has also continued to play with an over-30s amateur team in Los Angeles, Hollywood United, alongside former U.S. internationals Alexi Lalas and John Harkes, former French international Frank Leboeuf, former Welsh international player Vinnie Jones, and actor Anthony La Paglia. United plays in the Los Angeles Olympic Soccer League.

Eric Wynalda was a soccer analyst for ESPN. Eric Wynalda was also the in-studio analyst for 2006 FIFA World Cup on United States, English-language broadcasts. Eric Wynalda was one of the most vocal critics of USA’s head coach, Bruce Arena, in the 2006 World Cup. However, after the World Cup, he was amicably paired in-studio with Arena as co-analysts for some 2006 MLS Cup playoff games, a successful arrangement which continued with ESPN’s coverage of the US National Team in 2007. Eric Wynalda was one of the main analysts for ESPN and ABC during the 2007 Major League Soccer season.

After a number of controversies, he left ESPN prior to the 2008 season, a year before his contract was due to expire.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart – Sir John Young Stewart, OBE was born on 11 June 1939 in Milton, West Dunbartonshire, better known as Jackie, and nicknamed The Flying Scot, is a Scottish former racing driver. Sir Jackie competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers’ Championships. Former F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart, said he thought he was “thick” at school before discovering he was dyslexic. Sir Jackie said “word blindness” meant he had to race to keep up with other pupils. In those days dyslexia wasn’t something that got identified in many schools.

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Spina Bifida Series-Disabled Legend Jean Driscoll

Jean Driscoll was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that resulted in the improper development of her spine. She is a world-renowned athlete who is also making an impact as a professional speaker. Her motivational and powerful presentations have been lauded by CEO’s of corporate and non-profit enterprises, the U.S. government, and all levels of the education system. The Boston Marathon added a wheelchair division for women in 1977. The record for most repeated championships stands at 8, held by Jean Driscoll in the Women’s Wheelchair division.

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