Nike’s New Spokesman

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Hayley Royal, Nike Enthusiast

If you were to survey a kindergarten or first grade classroom on what everyone wants to be when they grow up, you would probably not be surprised with the responses. Among careers like firefighter, teacher, and singer, “athlete” is certain to be shouted out from the crowd. Of course, not all of these students will stick to a sport all the way through high school. Even fewer will continue their athletic career at a college or university, and even fewer will ever enter a partnership with a company. While it is life-changing for any young athlete to be approached by a brand as iconic and important as Nike, for Justin Gallegos, it is even more special.

Gallegos, a journalism student at the University of Oregon, has cerebral palsy. This, however, has never stopped him from doing what he loves. Gallegos began running at his high school in the ninth grade and continues to do so as part of the University of Oregon track club team.

On October sixth (which happened to be World Cerebral Palsy Day) Gallegos was surprised by Nike insight director John Douglass and was presented with an endorsement deal. Gallegos will be the first athlete with cerebral palsy to have a professional contract with the company.