And a Proud Father, Bernard F. Hillenbrand

On April 17 in Salt Lake, Utah my 52 year old 6.2 ft 200 pound son John Hillenbrand and his partner Jessi Gilmore won the 2011 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championship in bronze ice dance. They were awarded Gold Medals.

Here however is the rest of the story. For many years he has great pain in both knees. It cannot be cured by surgery or replacement. He loves to skate and is a very determined and motivated person. Typically of him he has focused and worked long and hard for this recognition.

He altered his life style. For example are rarely used elevators because the stair walk strengthens his legs. He walks during most of his lunch time. Weather permitting he cycled to and from work.
For several years three mornings a week at 4:00 AM he has rented the ice and practiced for an hour.

My son’s determination and courage gives us a special blessing and an enormous feeling of family pride and Thanksgiving. He has built great family support. His sister Lisa Hillenbrand came from Cincinnati, Ohio and his sister Susan Avallon and her twin children Quinn and Perris came from California to joined John in Salt Lake, Utah to cheer him to victory.

Knowing my son my guess is that he is already preparing for a repeat for next year.

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