The crowd at Saturday’s Pole Pedal Paddle gave a special cheer for 9-year-old Emmy Pfankuch as she pushed herself in her wheelchair across the finish line, closely followed by her parents, Jill and Bill.
Emmy served as the anchor leg for Onward!, one of three Oregon Adaptive Sports teams designed to give athletes with physical or developmental disabilities the opportunity to participate in the multisport PPP. Emmy, who lives with her family in Salem, has participated in OAS activities since she was 4. This was her second PPP.
“It’s awesome,” Emmy said when asked how she felt about the race.
Myles Bagley, a 27-year-old Bend resident, said he decided to join an OAS team about a month ago after failing to persuade his friends to form a team in the PPP’s open division.
“I always kayak, so I was trained, but I didn’t know I was going to do it until a month before,” said Bagley, who completed the paddling leg for True Grit. “I had a blast, it was super fun.”
— Victoria Jacobsen
(Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. In the original version, Emmy Pfankuch’s name was spelled incorrectly. The Bulletin regrets the error.)