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Out On the Porch Video & Links Available
Archer

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Lindsey Carmichael Out On the Porch

A disease called McCune Albright Syndrome leaves bones fragile, brittle and easily fractured.

Out On the Porch, Jim Swift tells us about one young woman who refuses to let the condition take her off target.

(The following is a transcript of Out On the Porch.)

This is a story that begins in the shadow of memory.

Related Links
Here is a list of links:
Athens 2004 Paralympic Games
Texas State Archery Association

Paralympic Archer Lindsey Carmichael says: "Probably about four years old so it was my first trip to the beach, and I fell."
Swift asks: "Do you remember what it felt like?"
Carmichael says: "I remember the pop. It was quite a noise but I, luckily, don't remember the pain too much."

The broken hip in that four-year-old girl was only the first of many fractures over the years.

Carmichael says: "The most interesting one was the beginning of school, sixth grade; I tripped in the cafeteria and broke my arm and my leg; got CareFlighted out in the middle of a thunderstorm. So that was very memorable; everyone at school knew me then as the girl who broke both bones on the first day of school."

There were many surgeries with rods and pins and the like, and another one late last year, in which part of a bone from one leg was moved to the other.

Carmichael says: "It basically put me in a wheelchair for two months, four month rehabilitation; I had to learn to walk again. It was really hard to get used to the idea that I couldn't go to P.E. with my friends; I couldn't, you know, play volleyball if I wanted to. So I just had to find other things to be interested in. And once I figured out that I could do archery and I could be good at it, I found that I really liked the competition. And it was something I could do on a level with normal able bodied people."

And over time, Lindsey Carmichael's father noticed something else.

Lindsey's father Ron Carmichael says, "Frankly, she learned that she could not only compete against other girls, but that she could spank the boys. And that is a certain boost in self esteem that is hard to come by."

Lindsey Carmichael says: "In archery, strength isn't everything. It's being able to repeat your same shot; it's being able to keep your mind in the same place; it's a very mental game. And so women can compete on a level with men and that's amazing to me."

Ron Carmichael says: "Ten, very nice."
Lindsey's mother, Gina Carmichael says: "Nice shot, Sweetie."

Next month, with her parents at her side, Lindsey Carmichael and the rest of the U.S. Archery Team heads for Athens, Greece and the Paralympic Games.

Carmichael says: "Here I am, I'm participating in probably the second largest sporting event in the world. It's something I've always wanted; it's the Olympic dream; it's an amazing feeling to know that that's attainable for me."

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