JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local swimmer aiming to compete in the 2020 Paralympics, is making a big move to make his dream come true.
Ross Minor, 19, has now moved to Colorado as he prepares to live and train at the Olympics Training Center.
Minor became blind at age 8, after his father shot him in the head during an act of domestic violence in June 2006. His older brother died in the attack.
Just a few weeks ago he was getting ready to compete in Charlotte, North Carolina to qualify for the Paralympics. News4JAX spoke to him shortly before he left for Colorado. He says although his times at the qualifying meet were very good, he feels he's ready to take it to the limit and that is what's pushing him to train harder in preps for the 2020 Paralympics.
"This is what I built up to. And this is what I'm going to be continuing to build up to. I haven't even reached my peak yet," said Paralympic hopeful, Ross Minor.
Minor did well in the qualifying meet, but he says he's ready to set the bar higher.
"I want to go to prove myself to everyone supporting me. And so I feel like moving to the Olympic training center where I'll be training 24/7. That will give me the chance to show I'm really all about," said Minor.
The trip to North Carolina wasn't just about swimming. Ross also visited with family and friends. This is where he lost his sight as a child all those years ago. He and his mother then moved several times before ending up in Florida. He graduated from Bishop Snyder High School on Jacksonville' Westside.
"We went, like, walked 1/4 mile to my elementary school and then we walked around the playground. I was just like 'wow, this is where all this started... and where my adventure and story began,'" said Minor.
Minor now has a tattoo that reads, 'it takes pain to grow' in Braille. Minor knows his journey is just beginning, but is determined to achieve his goal.
Minor was a computer major at UNF. Even though he's now in Colorado, he will still pursue his education. He plans to work part time during the spring and in the summer, he plans to enroll in courses at a local university or online.