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Paralympic Sports: Wheelchair Rugby

Chuck Aoki: Who am I?

In his first IPC blog, American wheelchair rugby player Chuck Aoki shares his background and invites readers to interact with him. 06 Feb 2013 By IPC

The sound of metal smashing into metal may not seem as relaxing as perhaps classical music, or a glass of chamomile, but for those of us who dedicate ourselves to the most destructive sport in the Paralympics, it has a certain charm to it.

Hello everyone!

 

My name is Chuck Aoki, and I am excited to be sharing my journey back to Rio with you.

 

My sport is wheelchair rugby, also eloquently referred to as “Murderball.”

 

I played for the United States at the London 2012 Paralympics, where we placed third and brought home the bronze medal.

 

This has been my life for the past five years, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, and I hope through blogging, I can give a glimpse into what a Paralympian does in the four years between the Paralympic Games.

 

I am a college student here in my hometown of Minneapolis, which is in the state of Minnesota, in the northern part of the United States.

 

My goal is to become a high school teacher, which may seem rather mundane when compared to my current life as a globe-trotting rugby player, but we all need some boring in our lives right?

 

I kid, but teaching is my passion next to rugby, and I hope it will provide me with a career after my time in rugby is done.

 

Some may wonder how I live in a snowy paradise like Minnesota as well, and all I can really offer back is that it is home. And the people are friendly. And we have a restaurant called “Perkins.” For those of you who have never heard of it, I do pity you.

 

My personal story begins when I was seven years old, and I began to play wheelchair basketball.

 

I played for 11 years until I picked up the much tamer sport of rugby in high school,after seeing the film “Murderball” which stars several of my London teammates.

 

The physical, violent and brutal nature of the sport attracted me to it, which certainly may seem like a bizarre notion to many. I suppose being able to take out one's aggression and frustrations that come with everyday life, in a controlled and completely legal manner, is something that is quite beneficial to both one's psyche and mental well-being.

 

This is just my amateur psychologist talking here of course, but I personally feel more relaxed after playing, odd as that may seem.

 

The sound of metal smashing into metal may not seem as relaxing as perhaps classical music, or a glass of chamomile, but for those of us who dedicate ourselves to the most destructive sport in the Paralympics, it has a certain charm to it.

 

Well, I think I have rambled on enough, but I hope you have found this little bit of a look into what makes a Paralympian tick interesting, and I hope you come back for more.

 

In the coming months, I hope to go more in-depth on various Paralympic topics, regular everyday stuff, rugby topics, you name it.

 

If anyone ever has any questions, please feel free to ask, or give discussion ideas. I would be happy to oblige.

 

Also, if you would like more frequent updates from me, give me a follow on Twitter at @Aoki5Chuck.

 

Thanks for reading!

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