Shepherd Center Paralympic Athlete Inducted into Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame
ATLANTA – Paralympian and Shepherd Center athlete Curtis Lovejoy was inducted into the Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame on Aug. 24 in recognition of his many accomplishments, records and medals earned in swimming.
Lovejoy, 56, has won eight Paralympic medals and holds 10 world records, five Pan/Am records and 14 U.S. records. He began swimming following rehabilitation for a paralyzing (C-5 to -7) spinal cord injury he sustained in a car accident in 1986.
Lovejoy attributes his athletic success to a positive outlook and disciplined training regimen. “I never would have guessed that I would accomplish so much right after my injury happened,” he said, reflecting on his athletic career.
He added that mentoring a successor to follow in his athletic footsteps will complete what he hopes to accomplish in his sports career. As the head coach of the Shepherd Sharks swim team, Lovejoy has coached swimmers ranked fifth and 10th in the world, as well as numerous other successful swimmers.
Shepherd Center sports teams coordinator Matt Edens, who has worked closely with Lovejoy, said: “No one is more deserving to be a hall of fame inductee than Curtis. He puts in his time in the water and gives back to the sport, as well.”
Lovejoy was inducted with fellow Georgia aquatics athletes, including David Larson, an Olympic gold medalist, and Kristy Kowal, an Olympic silver medalist.
Lovejoy added that he would not be where he is today without the love and support that Shepherd Center has provided for him.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.