Valley Man's Olympic Return from Beijing

September 24, 2008 6:53:35 PM PDT
A South Valley man who competed in this year's Para Olympic Games in Beijing has come back a champion. Jeff Fabry has only one arm and one leg. He won the bronze in the archery competition.Wilson Elementary School in Tulare had a celebration for his homecoming on Wednesday. Hundreds of students packed the outside lawn of the school to celebrate "Jeff Fabry Day." In addition to winning a bronze medal, Fabry shattered a world record.

Greg Anderson, the Principal of Wilson Elementary School, says "His daughter goes here and we see him picking up his daughter every day, Rebecca, and we though ? we've got an Olympic champion right here on our campus! Let's honor him."

Pictures taken at the Para Olympics show Jeff Fabry practicing and on the medal stand. Fabry won a bronze medal and also crushed a world record racking up the most points ever in a team event. He called the Olympic experience "unbelievable."

Jeff Fabry says "I just went in and gave it 100%. I came out with a medal and I'm extremely proud of it."

And as for Wednesday's celebration, Fabry says "Honestly, it's overwhelming. I come home and my daughter's school recognizes me for my achievements and have everyone else show up ... it's an honor."

Students made posters to celebrate Fabry and even received an archery lesson. Fabry, who lost part of his right arm and leg in a motorcycle accident when he was 15, pulls back the arrow with his teeth.

His daughter, an archery state champion at the age of six years old, hit a few bulls eyes for the crowd, as well. Rebecca Fabry says "I usually start by concentrating where the yellow part is." She says she's proud of her dad's achievements.

Rebecca Fabry says "He's a good archerer and I like to call him Jeff Fabry, Archerer!"

Jeff Fabry also took questions from students, who took an interest in the sport and were in awe of his accomplishments. Fifth grader Bradley Preston says "He's got only one arm and it's cool that he can still do it and it doesn't let that stop him."

Jeff Fabry also won two bronze medals in the Para Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. He is now getting ready to go to Washington, D.C. with other Olympic athletes to meet and have dinner with President Bush.

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