Yakima native prepares to compete in the Paralympics - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima native prepares to compete in the Paralympics

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YAKIMA, WA - Perhaps even more than the Olympics, the Paralympic Games share the stories and accomplishments of some of the world's most remarkable individuals.

The start of that journey began today in PyeongChang, South Korea. Josh Elliott, a local veteran, is an athlete competing this weekend in the Paralympics.

"I'm really excited, this is my first Paralympics," Elliott said. "But more than that, this has been the goal that I've been after since I first started skiing."

Elliott, a Yakima native, says he learned how to snowboard and ski as a teen from many trips to White Pass.

"After high school when I joined the Marines I took my snowboard with me everywhere I went," said Elliott.

In 2011, Elliott lost both his legs while deployed in Afghanistan. But that didn't stop him: he decided to pick up the sport once again.

"Part of my recovery process was getting into things that were passions of mine before I got injured," explained Elliott.

Frustrated from not being able to ski like he used to, Elliott's recreational therapist introduced him to a mono ski.

"And so days of trying to go out and snowboard and getting frustrated, I get into this mono ski and within an hours I was comfortable making turns and things just clicked," he said.

Immediately Elliott was recognized: he decided to begin his career as a professional athlete and moved to Aspen, Colorado, where he has been a part of a Paralympic development program. Since the beginning he's had one goal: to get here.

"I'm feeling strong, I'm feeling ready... so going into the Paralympics is exciting because it is the Paralympics, but I'm also trying to stay stick around it and treat it like another race and go out to win, not just to be there."

It was an amazing opportunity to speak with Elliott and listen to how excited he is to accomplish one of his dreams. For those of you who may want to watch him compete, tune into your NBC sports network channel tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. as Elliott competes in the Alpine Skiing Men's and Women's Super-G Competition.

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