It has been a little more than a year since Nick Scandone succumbed to ALS , known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, last January at his home in California. I wrote about his Paralympic campaign for the Beijing Olympics in The New York Times then wrote his obituary a year later in the same paper.

Nick Scandone, 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist.

Since his passing many have donated to the ALS Foundation in his name as well as the Balboa Yacht Club’s Maritime Sciences and Seamanship Foundation that introduces disabled persons to the wonders of sailing, a group he founded.

When I interviewed Nick the day he won his Paralympic Trials in Newport in 2007, it was the first time we had seen each other since just before the 1992 Olympic 470 trials where he was one of the favorites, as an able-bodied sailor. He laughed and said he couldn’t imagine he would go to the Olympics this way but he’d take it.

That sparrow-like, tanned, fast-talking Nick I looked up to as a fledgling 470 sailor was still in him that chilly fall afternoon at Sail Newport even though he could barely lift his limp hand to shake mine. His story is one not be forgotten and I hope you take a moment to read the two pieces I wrote about him and his disease, to learn and be inspired. He was impressive.

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