NIKE CEREBRAL PALSEY ATHLETE

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EUGENE, OR (KPTV) - It was an emotional weekend for one University of Oregon athlete.

Distance runner Justin Gallegos was signed by Nike, and is now the company's first professional athlete with cerebral palsy.

The neurological condition brings with it some serious physical limitations, but that's all it is to Gallegos, a physical disability.

The now-college junior joined the cross country team his freshman year of high school.

"I saw that it was improving my quality of life. It was making me stronger. It really didn't matter that I was finishing last in most of the races," Gallegos told FOX 12.

It's his fierce mentality that pushes his body. 

On Saturday, October 6th, Gallegos was under the impression cameras were there for his race. He laced up, not knowing what was about to come.

Nike surprised the college junior with a contract -- the company's first athlete to sign with cerebral palsy, and cameras were there to capture the historic moment. 

"I'm so grateful to have been apart of this story where so many people put their names in history books, and make records, and break records," Gallegos said. "It's a been a dream come true."

He's also worked with Nike on a running shoe specifically for people with disabilities.

Gallegos told FOX 12 he's gone from falling while running, to crossing the finish line at his first half-marathon in April, where he just narrowly missed his goal of two hours.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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