Washington County, Va. -
Sochi, Russia is about to host the winter paralympic games.
One of the competitors just happened to grow up in our region. Heath Calhoun is in commercials, he's on cereal boxes and he's inspiring everyone he touches.
That includes a high school that he never attended although his sister teaches there.
You might think that you're already in Sochi and Heath Calhoun is racing down the slopes on his special ski.
Signs, banners and cheers fill the Holston High School gym in Washington County, Virginia.
The story of how Heath Calhoun came from Grundy to be an olympian was shown to the students.
Just an average kid growing up in southwest Virginia, joining the army and serving in iraq. but that's where his story changed, he lost both legs in an explosion and with the help of the Wounded Warriors program he learned to snow ski and now he's representing his country in the paralympic games.
"It's just an overwhelming thing that a boy from Grundy can cause this reaction at a high school he didn't attend and see all those kids get so excited for him," His mother Judy said.
Excited because they have a hero from southwest Virginia who grew up like them that they can cheer for.
"When you think about Heath and what he's done and what he continues to do, it really encompasses the definition of a hero. We're doing all these things for him here but that's on a local level not a national level," Junior Seth Thomas says.
"Having someone who's out there, you see him on the Kellogg cereal boxes, trading cards, everything. It's cool seeing that show you don't have to stay here, you can do whatever you want. You can go anywhere," Freshman Dakota Taylor added.
"Personally I take from it, anything that's laid on your table and anything that's dealt to you in life, he took it personally and ran with it and made something so extraordinary out it and something very inspiring," Junior Abigail Daniels said.
The Calhouns leave Wednesday evening for Russia. His dad talked to him last night and Heath is ready to compete.
"These events are as mentally challenging as they are physically challenging and as closer these event happen the more pressure is put on somebody. A lot of anticipation," His father Kermit said.
Heath took the time to thank the students by recording a message on his phone. He competes in the alpine skiing eventAs and the games begin this weekend.
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