Full of energy and enthusiasm, Olympic hall-of-famer Randy Snow dazzled the audience Saturday night at the end-of-year tennis banquet at the Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy.
Snow was injured by a 1,000-pound bale of hay while in high school and paralyzed. He did not let his adversities hold his tennis career back as he stayed focused and became an accomplished gold-metal winning Paralympian.
“The key to success for all of us I suppose is this, whether you are on the way up in your life or you are on the way down or you’re sitting around waiting on your inspiration. If you want to be successful, you better be running,” Snow said after opening his portion of the evening with back-to-back stories.
“I am honored to be here. I am glad I could come here and talk with you guys and share just a moment of your life,” Snow said.
Prior to Snow taking the stage to share his stories of triumph, he, along with dozens of other people in attendance, watched as head tennis coach Perry Nutt handed out the superlative awards to select members of the 2008-09 tennis team.
As voted on by the tennis players, the most improved female award was awarded to Kristi Clem. Elliot Frey was awarded the most improved male tennis player.
The team player awards were awarded to Hannah Bush and Cole Brown while the most outstanding player awards were presented to two freshmen.
Danielle Calhoun was named the most outstanding female while Justin Miller was named the most outstanding male tennis player.
Senior Isabel Cadena was awarded two scholarships on the evening. Her first scholarship was from the booster club while the second was the Kevin Waskow Memorial Scholarship.
Once the students were honored Snow took the stage and captivated the audience for more than 25 minutes.
As he was wrapping up, the longtime tennis player left the tennis players with one last challenge.
“Tennis is awesome and it teaches you so many different life lessons,” Snow said. “You can step away from it for awhile, but it will always be there and you can always go back to it. It will teach you so many things about life. I encourage you guys to stay with the sport; it is an awesome thing. But even more importantly, guys, figure out what you love to do. Find out what you love, work your butt off at it. Make it better than when you got there and never take anything for granted.”
At the peak of a blossoming tennis career while just a junior in high school, Snow was injured in a farming accident, which left him without the use of his legs. Since then he has become a four-time Paralympian (three-sport medalist), business owner and a nationally recognized sales associate, a Fortune 500 speaker and one of the most successful gold medal wheelchair athletes in history.
He won gold medals in singles and doubles tennis in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992; and a bronze medal in basketball in Atlanta, in 1996. He was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Snow has served in public, private and governmental positions, and brings an abundance of experience to the audiences he speaks to.
After high school, Snow earned a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Texas in 1986. Snow now lives in Terrell.