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 provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.