100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

June 14, 1991 - Image 51

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-06-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SPORTS

PULLING HIS WEIGH!'

Rick Stone has battled cerebral palsy since
birth to become a top teacher and athlete

HOWARD ROSS

and in top form. Kim Crane
has coached disabled athletes
for eight years and Stone is
one of the best and most
focused people she's worked
with.
"He has a life. He has plen-
ty of other interests," Crane
says of her top male protege.
"But I've never seen anyone
who puts in his kind of effort.
"Sports has become really
important to Rick."
That wasn't always the case,
of course. Growing up disabl-
ed meant that Stone was
always the odd kid out when
it came to Little League and
youth basketball. Being the
second oldest in a family of
four active boys couldn't have
made it easier.
But Stone says that never
really bothered him. "I know
that I've matured very quick-
ly, at least in comparison to
other people. Having a
disability caused me to grow
up very fast," Stone says.
The result of a birth defect
or severe head injury, cerebral
palsy, or CP, most often
results in poor muscle coor-
dination and/or speech pro-
blems. The illness has no
cure.
Stone's maturity carries
over into his workout routine,

Special to The Jewish News

R

ick Stone is an ath-
lete with an atti-
tude. Except with
Stone, it's not the
negative, self-
serving cockiness commonly
found among many top
competitors.
Asked to run down the list
of medals he's won since he
began competing in 1989,
Stone — who teaches high
school math and is obviously
no slouch when it comes to
arithmetic — has genuine
trouble.-In fact, it takes some
prompting from his father on
the other side of the family's
West Bloomfield living room
before he remembers the four
golds he took home from the
CP Games at Central Michi-
gan University last May.
Definitely no ego problem
here. Instead, the 26-year-old
weightlifter and discus
thrower exudes a kind of
quiet confidence in talking
about his accomplishments. It
is almost as if victory, for
Stone, lies in making it onto
the field at all.
And in a way, it does.
- Stone, 26, has had cerebral
palsy since birth. His arena is
that of the disabled athlete.
In events where results de-
pend nearly as much on lower
body strength as they do up-
per body development, Stone
is working on two legs that
don't often get the message
his brain sends them. The un-
controllable spasms make
walking difficult and harness-
ing leg muscles for heaving
the javelin or lifting free
weights are near impossible.
"I realize there are certain
things I can and can't do,"
Stone says. "But I don't think
those kinds of limits are a pro-
blem as long as you do your
best."
"I'm- mainly in this for
myself, to feel better about
- myself. Not for the competi-
tion."
Still, Stone's performance
in organized events hasn't
been too shabby. Especially

for someone who only got
serious about athletics at the
relatively late age of 24.
At the CP Games two years
ago, he won golf medals in
shot put, javelin and discus.
In 1990, he repeated the first-
place finish in those three
and added a gold in the club
throw, where participants
heave a bowling pin-like ob-
ject for distance.
In last year's Windsor, On-
tario, games for disabled
athletes, he finished second in
the shot put and set a
regional record in free
weights for his 150-pound
division by lifting 215 pounds.
A third appearance at the
state CP games this spring,
and his dream of a trip to the
national games in New York
this July, became sidetracked

when Stone suffered a back
injury. His three weekly
workouts at the Pontiac
Recreation Center were
replaced by physical therapy
sessions designed to
strengthen an unstable
vertebrae.
While the sessions are
nothing new for Stone — he's
had countless operations and
endless hours of physical
therapy since he was an in-
fant — he nonetheless found
the recovery routine
frustrating. "It's like I'm go-
ing to be starting over," Stone
says. "I'll get back into (train-
ing) and I'll have no idea
where I'll be . . . what I will
or won't be able to do with my
legs."
His coach, however, is con-
fident that Stone will be back

Rick Stone with his weights,
above left, and in his
wheelchair.

particularly with weights. He
is cautious, almost to a fault,
adding weight in small
amounts. He always wears a
belt.
"I gues I am more careful
than most able-bodied
athletes," Stone says. "My
goal is not to be a hulk — that
doesn't interest me at all.
Most of the benefit in lifting
weights is how it has helped
me increase my performance
in the field events."

Stone is working
with two legs that
don't often get the
message.

When he's not in the gym,
Stone is in the classroom. A
graduate of Albion College,
he's closing out his second
year at the Orchard Lake St.
Mary preparatory school,
where he teaches algebra,
geometry and calculus.
He'll be returning to school
this summer to begin work on
a master's degree in
mathematics education.
"I've always found math to
be a challenge," Stone says. "I
enjoy working with numbers
and figuring things out.
always wanted to have an
impact on kids," he says of his
decision to become a teacher.
"Each person has a potential
and I want to be able to help
them reach it."
Stone whetted his teaching
appetite during the 10 years
he attended SCAMP, a sum-
mer day camp for youths with
a variety of disabilities. In his
last years there he worked
with other disabled youths,
first as a photography assis-
tant and then teaching art
classes.
As far as being a role model
for his students, Stone hopes
he's provided an example of
what someone with a disabili-
ty can accomplish. His
students, Stone feels, see that
teaching "means more to so-
meone like me because of
what I've overcome in life.
"Maybe that will rub off,"
he says.
Larry Reeside, Orchard

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

51

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan