NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - Paul Callahan remembers pulling away in a sailboat from Fort Adams State Park in Newport for the first time many years ago, and seeing his wheelchair sitting empty on the dock.
It's the way he explains his love for the sport: He's free from the confines of his chair and in control of a vessel skimming across the water.
Callahan, who was paralyzed after a freak accident in college, has become one of the world's top disabled sailors. Next month he will represent the U.S. at the Paralympic Games on a 24-foot sailboat.
Callahan runs the Newport-based nonprofit Sail to Prevail, which helps those with disabilities sail. He says sailing builds self-esteem and helps teach teamwork. He says he encourages participants "to think as big as they can."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)