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Monday, February 18, 2013

Armless wonder who is licensed to fly.... !! ~ Jessica Cox


There are winners and there are those who grumble and complain about everything !

For many of us, unfounded fears stand in the way of opportunities; many of us tend to create an excuse rather than any creative solution ~ there are some who feel that that they have handicaps while others are provided easier opportunities.  Are there other ways of looking at life ?

The World has turned upside down for one of the most loved sportspersons whose strapline for Nike Ads was ‘I am the bullet in the chamber’ ~ the Paralympic champion South African athlete  Oscar Pistorius is now facing charges of "premeditated murder" in a Pretoria courtroom following the shooting dead of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.  Nike  in a damage control mode had to pull down the unfortunately-worded ads, as the perils of celebrity brand endorsement were brought sharply into focus once again.  Pistorius rose despite his limitations or rather with them, earned several million pounds from sponsorships, but now the bladerunner stands to lose everything even if he were to be acquitted in Court of Law.

Tiger Woods had a different experience and even Lance Armstrong case is different – this is totally different.  One cannot blame the sponsors for deserting for this seemingly is most logical move.

Sure life stories of people who have defied disabilities will continue to inspire us.  Here is one more in that list - Jessica Cox (born 1983 in Arizona) is the world's first licensed armless pilot, as well as the first armless black-belt in the American Taekwondo Association.

She was born without arms due to a rare birth defect. She earned her pilot's license on October 10, 2008, after three years of training, and is qualified to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet; she received her training through an Able Flight scholarship. Unlike the  bladerunner and his carbon legs, Cox does not use prosthetic arms [since she turned 14]; she uses her feet, the way most people use hands and is able to drive a car (she has an unrestricted license and drives a car without modifications), to type on a keyboard (25 words per minute), to pump her own gas, and to put in and remove her contact lenses.  She is also a certified SCUBA diver. Cox holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and works as a motivational speaker and has spoken in 17 different countries.

Really inspiring that a person with a rare birth defect has not let that stop her from achieving more than what most normal people have done.  In 2012 she married Patrick, her former Taekwondo instructor  and they live happily in Tucson in the US state of Arizona.  It is stated that she will visit Ethiopia soon to help promote disability rights.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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