You’ll find Hermin Garic at proctor park on any given day putting in mile after mile…Training for the boilermaker. But this life a far cry from where Hermin was born. The 23 year old was born in Bosnia just before the Bosnian Conflict and at the age of 4 came face to face with it. A grenade exploded above his head sending shrapnel into his back and things grew worse on the way to the hospital.
Garic says, “The ambulance when they got me to it was going down a hill at a faster speed, ended up crashing on its way to the hospital and the crash ended up breaking my back and injuring my spinal cord.”
The crash left Hermin paralyzed from the waist down. Six years later He moved to Utica far away from everything he’s ever known leaving Hermin depressed, until he discovered wheelchair sports.
Hermin says, “It was a very dark time, you know I mean, just going through depression and having nothing to do. I have family here and that’s what keeps me going throughout the day, family means everything to me, Along with wheelchair racing and another sport that I do.”
Over the past two years Hermin placed second and third in the Boilermaker and he says the race has changed his life since he was 15 years old. He says, “Wheelchair racing is pretty much everything I’ve got going, to push myself to the limit and to try to be the world class athlete hopefully someday that I can be.”