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Arts & Culture

Concord Running Standout, Fayetteville Native Off To Japan To Race In Paralympics

Gore 2.jpg
Bendy Shrader
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Jonathan Gore prepares for the start of a 100-meter race at Charleston’s Laidley Field in April.

Fayetteville native Jonathan Gore qualified for the Paralympics that will be hosted in Japan in a few weeks. He’s ranked second in the world in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes behind fellow American and three-time Paralympic qualifier Jerryd Wallace.

He’s trained for the trials with Concord Track and Field Coaches Mike Cox and RJ Anderson for about two years.

Gore ran track for Concord University from 2013 to 2017.

“I always was a runner when I had both my legs,” Gore said. “But when I lost my leg, went to surgery, I was already ready to start running again.”

Shortly after he graduated, an accident would change his running career forever.

“I was in a lawn mower accident three years ago that cut my heel off, and it resulted in me having my leg amputated,” Gore said.

After the accident, he got a call from Coach Cox to return to Concord for graduate school and an assistant coaching position. Gore said being a new amputee was tough, at first.

“But once I had my goals set, I just went for it and kept my mind on the goal,” Gore said.

It was Gore’s support system at home and his faith that helped him to keep going.

“First of all God (helped me) because I could have easily let this break me,” Gore said. “I have amazing parents where my dad is always the rock of our family. The first thing he always said is ``if you want something, work for it.”

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Courtesy
Jonathan Gore's colleagues celebrated by sharing an American themed cake.

Gore seemed focused and calm as he joined his colleagues at Concord to eat celebratory cake before he left for Tokyo. “I'm just working to try to execute my race so nothing's really hitting me yet,” Gore said.

He’s proud to represent Fayette County, West Virginia and the USA on the Paralympic global stage.

“It’s amazing because you really don't hear of anybody from West Virginia doing something that big,” Gore said. “My goal is just to trust my training and execute my race. And if I do that, then I can compete for a medal.”

Gore will run the 100-meter trials on Aug. 29. If he advances, he will compete in the finals on Aug. 30. He’ll also run the 200-meter trials on Sept. 4. If he advances in the 200-meter trial, he’ll run in the finals later that same day. The races will happen sometime between 6-9 a.m EST.

This year’s Paralympics will be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com.

About 4,400 athletes are expected to compete this year in 540 events across 22 sports.

Corrected: August 9, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT
A previous version of this story said that Gore would run on Sept. 5 if he advanced in the 200-meter trial. If he advances, he will run later on Sept. 4.

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