LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WUSA9) -- Traveling cross county on a cycle is an amazing feat. But imagine if you can't use your legs? Ryan Chalmers is pushing his way across America with his powerful arms. He is on a mission to show the world what people with disabilities can do.
Chalmers, 24, was born with Spina Bifida and used either crutches or wheelchair to get around. He is an accomplished Para Olympian and competed in the last games. Now, he's pushing his racing chair from California to New York. On day 60 he passed through Virginia and WUSA9 caught up with him in Purcellville. Chalmers started his journey in Los Angeles on April 6t and will travel over 3,000 miles through 16 states.
The hills in western Loudoun were nothing compared to his toughest day early ... through Death Valley.
" It started with a 7 mile incline. It was about 65 mile day... and then it ended with a 13 mile climb as well," recalled Chalmers. He said he had to just stop, put a towel over his head and think before he could go on. Even though it was early on, it was his toughest day, but it helped him push through the rest of the trip.
"It was one of those moment that made me remember what I was doing this for in the first place," said Chalmers.
His main goal is to show that having a disability doesn't mean you're disabled and accomplish your goals.
"If you set your mind to something, you can achieve anything," Chalmers said.
He is raising money for an organization called Stay focused which he says, changed his life when he was 15. Stay Focused takes groups of teens with disabilities to the Cayman Islands and teaches them to scuba dive. Roger Muller founded the organization and says the most important thing Ryan Chalmers is doing, is raising awareness about people with disabilities.
Ryan Chalmers ends his journey in his home state in New York after 71 days of cycling across America.