BRICK TOWNSHIP - A New Jersey handcyclist who finished first at the Boston Marathon is back at home in Brick Township.
Sam Spencer was an avid skier in Vermont. "I grew up on skis," he says. "I was told I was on skis from the time I was 15 months old."
A training run left him paralyzed from the waist down 22 years ago, when he was 29 years old. He says he uses video of the accident as an educational tool for teens.
After the accident, Spencer didn't want to give up sports. "I didn't want to change my life. I had to continue to be active, athletic and thank God for the 20th and now 21st century that this wonderful equipment exists," he says.
Spencer says handcycling has helped him deal with his daughter's drug addiction, and he teaches kids in Ocean County about his life.
"At the end of the day, I want them to understand that just because I am in a wheelchair, I am not any different than any other person," he says.
Spencer's home was also hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, but despite all that life has dealt him, he keeps a positive outlook. "You go through an event like this, Sandy, and it just reinforces the true spirit, essence of people and it's good," he says.
Spencer has already set up his racing bike in his family room to start training for his next race in Germany this fall.
For an extended interview with Spencer, watch the clip to the left or go to News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.