Paralympian to throw 1st pitch at Rockies Home Opener

DENVER - A Colorado-native who competed in alpine skiing at the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia is preparing for his next big sporting event.

Jon Lujan will throw out the first pitch at the Colorado Rockies home opener on Friday. He served in the Marine Corps for nearly eight years. In 2003 in Iraq, he hurt his back. During a surgery to repair the injury, his spinal cord was damaged, forcing him to retire. To this day, he has no feeling below his knees and uses braces to walk.

"I am a little nervous about throwing out the first pitch because I have to have knee surgery on the 9th. My knee is not exactly 100 percent," Lujan said. "I don't want to bounce it in. I am hoping I can either overthrow the catcher or get it right there in the mitt."

Being a Rockies fan, Lujan said throwing out the first pitch was definitely on his bucket list. However, it's not something he ever dreamed he would get to do.

When a friend first asked him if he was busy this Friday, Lujan said he was. When that friend told Lujan he might get to throw out the first pitch, he cleared his schedule.

"I remember watching Eric Young hit the first home run out of Mile High Stadium. That was actually just a few days before I left for boot camp," Lujan said.

Lujan told 9NEWS the only thing that compares with the honor of throwing out the first pitch is carrying the flag at the Paralympics.

It's going to be a very busy but exciting week for him. Tuesday night, he leaves for Washington, DC, where he'll present a gift to President Barack Obama on behalf of the US Paralympic team. He will get back the night before the big game.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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