Updated: 2 days ago
Nick Salerno is an astounding athlete here at myTEAM TRIUMPH (mTT). Born with cerebral palsy, Nick is much more than his disability!
He is a part of a select few that can say, "I have successfully completed multiple marathons and an IRONMAN." He embodies what it means to be a true athlete and inspiration.
Nick is a proud team member at myTEAM TRIUMPH. We call all our athletes like Nick, "Captains." Captains lead the ship to success in each and every event.
When participating in these events, the Captains are pushed in a specialized wheel chair that is provided by mTT. Each Captain has their "Angels." Angels are the mTT athletes that run beside or push the wheelchair.
Nick often runs with his Angel, Larissa Arellano. Larissa and Nick were interviewed about their racing experience by Local News Station TMJ4 in Milwaukee. In the interview, Larissa explains that Nick's ability to overcome adversity is how she get's through the long race days.
"He gets me to the finish of every single race. He gets me through the training days where I don’t feel like it, or I'm tired, or I'm hurting. I just have to think about Nick and his beautiful smile, and he gets me through it all," Arellano said.
Nick truly loves to run. Although he is nonverbal, when asked if he loves running with Larissa, he shakes his head to the left which indicates a strong "Yes!"
Nancy Salerno, Nick's mom, sees the joy it brings her son.
"When you see the joy that he has, it just penetrates your heart. This is something that he wants to do, and I can’t stop him from living his dreams, and I want him to live his dreams."
For people with varying disabilities, having an event or team provides them the ability to connect with others. People who have disabilities are more likely to experience feelings of isolation due to the lack of opportunities for connection. Programs like myTEAM TRIUMPH give Nick the space to do what he loves!
Nick is the Captain of his own life and he has accomplished astounding achievements that many can be inspired by. Larissa, being Nick's Angel, sees how much the crowd responds to Nick pursuing his passion.
“The crowd loves him. I don’t get cheered for on my own, but when I’m with Nick everyone goes crazy for him.”
Nick has proven time and time again that no challenge is too big for him! As he continues to cross finish lines and go for gold, he also graduated high school, audited classes at Carthage College, and played roles in a movie called Power in My Hands and a TV show called Living Divine Mercy. Believe it or not, Nick is not done yet. He hopes to race in the Boston Marathon and prove yet again, that he can overcome any adversity.
Our job here at myTEAM TRIUMPH is to promote inclusion for all abilities. Everyone deserves a seat at the table and to live out their dreams.
Nick's mom, Nancy Salerno says,
"He was born this way for a reason, and that reason is to show other people what it’s like to live with a disability and how many things you can do when so many people think that you can't."