Paralyzed Lowcountry man finds passion in archery, rises in the ranks

Paralyzed Lowcountry man finds passion in archery, rises in the ranks

LADSON, SC (WCSC) - A partially paralyzed Ladson man has become one of the best para archers in the world and is aiming to compete in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

Ben Thompson was left paralyzed from the chest down, after a 2010 motorcycle accident.

"I was coming to work like 12 o'clock on a Saturday and don't really remember much," Thompson said.

After weeks of recovery, Thompson's doctors urged him to find a hobby and stay active for his health.

"A. You can put on weight very quickly and B. you can have a lot of skin issues," he said.

Thompson picked up archery, a beloved hobby from his childhood in Illinois.

"I grew up shooting everything I could, but nothing to this level," he said.

You can see his love for the sport around his desk inside Boeing South Carolina where he keeps pictures of the Para Team and a battered target on the wall.

In 2015, Thompson captured the compound archery bronze medal at the 2015 Para Pan Am Games in Toronto.

He narrowly missed a spot on the 2016 Rio Paralympic team.

"I started in 2014 and that was the end goal," he said.

Thompson contemplated putting up the bow and arrow after the defeat.

He said, " I decided I could do better. I totally changed everything and in the next tournament shot a personal best."

He trains as much as possible, proving his journey is not over. Thompson has his sights sets on becoming a Paralympian and shooting until he no longer sees success.

"I told myself I won't quit until I feel I have plateaued."

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