Jamie Nieto knows what it’s like to be faced with some serious challenges. The two-time Olympian was an exceptional high jumper, however his career was cut short following a backflip accident in 2016. His spinal cord was severely damaged during the incident, leaving him partially paralyzed.
The accident was tough on Niento, who was used to be a physically fit champion, but he had the help of his girlfriend, Shevon Stoddart, through it all.
“As I get better and better, she has to do less and less. She’s done so much for me.” he said. “I feel like it’s not fast enough. I want to be better tomorrow. I’m built for speed, not for going slow. But I’m working on being the best walker I can be.”
The couple met in 2010, and since Jamie’s accident, Shevon has been there to help him with the day-to-day routine, like getting dressed.
Doctors were skeptical that Nieto would ever walk again, but the determined former Olympian had “no doubts” that he’d be back on his feet and make a full recovery. In fact, he had the perfect occasion to prove to himself and everyone else just what he was capable of.
Jamie was determined to walk down the aisle beside his bride on his wedding day. This past Saturday at the Christ Temple Apostolic Church in San Diego, the 40-year-old groom did just that.
Inspired by his love for his partner, Jamie used all of his strength to make sure he’d be able to walk and stand on the most memorable day of his life.
Sure enough, with the help of a loved one, Jamie shuffled his way down the church aisle to the alter. Needless to say, the guests burst into applause as well as tears at the sight.
Olympian Jamie Nieto walks to his wedding after being paralyzed pic.twitter.com/2q35mByM0K
— Ramon Galindo (@RamonGalindoNBC) July 22, 2017
Shevon made her entrance down the aisle next, singing “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion while Niento smiled at his bride-to-be.
Lots of tears in the church when Olympian Jamie Nieto's bride Shevon Stoddart sang down the aisle pic.twitter.com/HP4JSth5NW
— Ramon Galindo (@RamonGalindoNBC) July 23, 2017
The joyous occasion was everything the couple could have dreamed of. Reflecting on his relationship with Shevon, he knew that marrying his supportive, loving girlfriend was the best decision he could have made.
“We were talking about getting married before the accident, and when I had the accident it was clear to me, ‘What are we waiting on?’ You never know — you could be gone tomorrow. I asked her if she was ready to get married now or wait until I got better.” he recalled.
It is clear from the look on Jamie’s face that his wedding day was nothing but perfect. He made not have made the full recovery he’s hoping for just yet, but we’re sure he and his beautiful bride will never forget the moment that he walked down to aisle.
What a beautiful day!
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