Burned Lincoln grad hopes to be Rio triathlete

Burned Lincoln grad hopes to be Rio triathlete

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by Art Edwards, KGW Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 19 at 3:09 AM

PORTLAND -- A Portland man who swam for Lincoln High and Yale, badly burned in Thailand, hopes to make the 2016 Olympic team as a triathlete.

"My goal is to make the 2016 Olympics," Colin O'Brady told KGW. "Always dreamed of the Olympics since I was a little kid."

The trip to Rio will be especially challenging for him. On a 2008 trip to Thailand, he decided to jump a flaming rope at the resort where he was staying. He had watched others do it regularly. O'Brady found himself tangled in the rope.

"Lit me on firer to my neck," he said, "I ran into the ocean to extinguish the flames."

There were burns over 25 percent of his body. Doctors told him he may never walk again.

"I remember lying in that hospital bed in Thailand with my legs in the air wishing it would be over because this is so bad," he said.

His mother came to Thailand to be at his side.

They returned to Portland's Legacy Emanuel Burn Center.

Eighteen months after the fire, he won the first triathlon he entered.

He has now won triathlons on six continents. He must now finish third or better at the Olympic trials.

"It's almost been a blessing, a silver lining," he said of Thailand. "It set me on this path that's brought me amazing things in life since then."

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