On a regular day in 1983, a college freshman’s life changed forever.
While on a drive home with a friend, Eddy Hutchens, 58, was in a car crash that ejected him from the vehicle and broke his spine at T10 and T11. Hutchens is now paralyzed from the belly button down, he said.
But, that doesn’t stop Hutchens from playing sports. Although he has played wheelchair basketball, softball and ice hockey, bowling is his favorite. Since he began playing competitively in 2014, Hutchens has won three gold medals and a silver.
“Obviously, there’s more challenges in bowling or anything you’re doing from a chair,” Hutchens said. “But, you do the best that you can do. The wheelchair hinders you a little bit, but it’s not a stopping stone. It’s a speed bump.”
On Dec. 12, Team USA’s para bowling team, which was formed only two years ago, played a scrimmage match against Mansfield ISD’s Lake Ridge High School bowling team at the International Training and Research Center, 621 Six Flags Drive.
Four women and four men on Team USA took on the high schoolers to get some practice in, said Kendra Cameron-Curry, the program director of high performance at the United States Bowling Congress.
The team was meant to travel to the 2022 International Bowling Federation World Cup Queensland, Australia, but entries didn’t allow them the opportunity.
“When we realized that the entries weren’t going to support the event, we came up with a plan B which was this two-day training camp,” Cameron-Curry said.
All five Team USA divisions travel to Arlington at least once a year for training, Cameron-Curry said.
As for Hutchens, he plays in three leagues back home in Colorado.
“It’s all about practice, and anything you want to get good at you’ve got to put that time in,” he said.
He awaits the day he bowls a 300, a perfect game.
Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.