‘It was his dream’: Metro Detroit families cheer for their Paralympians

Still rooting for Team USA: Metro Detroit families cheer their paralympians

There are still gold medals up for grabs in Tokyo. Several of the athletes in the Paralympics have ties to Michigan, especially to Metro Detroit.

“We’re on pins and needles ... We’re up all different times of the night with the coverage going on,” said Michael Paye.

Michael and Karen Paye are the proud parents of their son Michael Paye. He is currently in Tokyo, representing Team USA in wheelchair basketball.

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“The disability is called Arthrogryposis. Very rare in the respect of being born with that type of conditions,” Michael Paye said.

But his parents said their son didn’t let that stop him. He wanted to play basketball since he was little. They recently watched the team win.

This is not his first time competing. He recently won a gold medal in Rio.

“We’re just so proud of him. It was his dream,” said Karen Paye.

Jess Kusku said her husband John is playing in the biggest games of his life. On the U.S. Men’s national goalball team, they recently won this week and moving on to the semi-finals.

“There are so many emotions. First of all, I’m so grateful that we have the opportunity to watch him. He was in Rio this was his second Paralympics,” she said. “Goalball was a sport that was invented after World War II and it was invented for a blinded vet. It’s a sport that’s played only by people who are blind or visually impaired.”

It’s a strategic 3-on-3 game of offense and defense that’s played on a gym floor. Although it’s not popular yet, it’s growing,

“I feel that this most amazing sport that no one has ever heard of is finally getting some recognition,” said Jess Kusku.

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