IMG Academy's own David Prince (USA) not only won the bronze medal with a new personal best performance of 50.61 but established a new World Record for the T44 Classification. The T44 Classification encompasses below the knee single leg amputees. In the Olympic Games T43 and T44 Classifications compete in one group. In 2013, the two classifications will complete in separate races.
Prince has been working with Loren Seagrave, IMG Academy Director of Speed and Movement, since December 2011, but the road to their relationship as athlete and coach was one that took time.
Prince was a swim instructor in Marietta, Ga., who taught Seagrave's two boys how to swim in 2008. They were reunited last summer when Seagrave's athletes were commuting to Tampa to train at the University of South Florida. Prince expressed he would like to train under Seagrave's tutelage, but the season had already progressed too far.
The plan was for Prince to commute Bradenton and Brandon, Fla. beginning in mid-November that year. However, prior to the start of training, David suffered serious injury, tearing his ACL, PCL meniscus, avulsed his hamstring tendon from the bone and separated the tibia and fibula. Dan Lamar, orthopedic surgeon at Coastal Orthopedics, put David back together again.
Very few gave David a chance that he would be able to qualify for the USA Team for the Paralympic Games. Seagrave told him they would work together with the Therapy Staff at IMG Academy aggressively.
âNever say never,â Seagrave told Prince. âIf you don't make the team, or for that matter can't even run by that time, at least you'll know you gave it your all.â
Along the way, to help him increase his speed and compete at a higher level, Prince was fit with a custom-designed carbon-fiber prosthetic leg made specifically for running by Hanger Clinic prosthetist, Don Smith, who has been working with Prince for the past two years. Oxy Health also provided Prince a hyperbaric chamber he slept in every night. The IMG Academy sports therapy staff worked with Prince and coordinated his rehabilitation with Dr. Lamar.
He began coming around. The physical conditioning staff put energy into his training and rehab. His elite track and field training partners not only supported him, but challenged him.
He made the cut for Team USA 400-meters contingent at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Prince had to overcome a battery of rehabilitation, a new leg and more aggressive training.
In the end, the result was worth it. Another IMG Academy Trained Medalist as Prince won bronze in the 400M.