Cerebral palsy not holding back Moody High School student-athlete

Once told he would never walk, Talan Smith is now running and winning gold medals
Once told he would never walk, Talan Smith is now running and winning gold medals
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
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MOODY, Ala. (WBRC) - Talan Smith has never been one to make excuses.

The rising Moody High School senior was born premature at 29 weeks, where doctors later discovered that Smith had two brain hemorrhages at birth. There was fear for the unknown as growing up with mild cerebral palsy has been different, but he’s just like every kid where he loves sports. His right side is bigger than his left and Talan has to push his body harder sometimes. But that is one of the very reasons why Talan wants to work harder and show that he can and he will.

“There’s just something in me that tells me to keep going,” Smith said. “Cause I’ve come so far, and I know something that a brick in the road shouldn’t just stop me.”

Smith’s mother Jennifer noticed Talan’s admiration for sports even when he was crawling around with just one arm. Former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Abbott became involved and showed Talan how to throw the baseball with one arm.

Abbott even wrote Talan a letter to let him know that he cares.

But then someone else noticed and another sport found Talan. He quickly learned the ways of track and field and was running away with gold medals.

“First of all, he wants no sympathy or empathy,” Moody track and field coach Michael Graben said. “After they see him run, they’re like wait a minute, this guy is legit.”

Sixteen years later, nothing has stopped Talan. And with every mile Talan runs, he lets his legs and his arms do the talking.

“I know there are kids out there like that are on the fence about playing sports,” Smith said. “If they see somebody like me doing it, it’ll give them motivation to say, ‘Maybe, I can do this too.’”

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