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News Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hunter Woodhall makes last public appearance before college

First double amputee to earn NCAA Division 1 track scholarship

Hunter Woodhall – double amputee track star known for his record-breaking athletic success at Syracuse High School and the Paralympics in Rio – made his last local, public appearance on August 10 at a send-off party at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City. The successful local athlete is now firmly rooted in Arkansas where he’ll attend college this fall and run track at the University of Arkansas.

Hunter recently made history as the first double amputee to earn a scholarship at a NCAA Division 1 school. He hopes to continue breaking down barriers for athletes with physical differences throughout his collegiate career.

The send-off event included well-wishes from supporters, a speech from Hunter Woodhall, razorback-themed cake and other refreshments, as well as interview opportunities for media and photo opportunities fans.

As a patient ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City where he has received orthopaedic care and customized prosthetic legs since he was a toddler, Hunter has encouraged younger amputees to be proud of their differences and to be open about sharing their story to motivate others. One of those patients paid him a sweet tribute at the send-off party.

“I have a goal of running in the Olympics just like Hunter,” fellow patient ambassador Kadence said. “He has encouraged me to surround myself with good people and has taught me to remember to give back. He’s gone through hard things with a smile.”

Hunter also gave a speech, where he thanked the hospital not only for physical support, but emotional support as well, and provided a vision for his time at the University of Arkansas. “I want to instill in others the belief that anything is possible,” said Hunter. He also had words of wisdom for patients in attendance. “It’s about having the right people around you, and the right attitude,” said Hunter. “You’ll be in my heart the next few years.”

There to document the event were a handful of local news outlets including ABC 4, FOX13, KUTV Channel 2 and the Deseret News.

Everyone at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City wishes Hunter much success in the years to come!

Hunter send off party