ProRodeo Sports News - April 16, 2021


Photo courtesy Krisi Godfrey Former PRCA saddle bronc rider and bull rider Michael Godfrey was paralyzed in a bull riding accident in 1996 in El Paso, Texas. Godfrey has become a decorated table tennis player and is trying to qualify for the 2021 Paralympic Games. Swinging for the Games

M ichael Godfrey was a weekend warrior in the PRCA as a saddle bronc rider and bull rider. Until his life changed forever. in rodeo for nearly 20 years at the time of the accident. “I knew I was hurt bad.” Godfrey, 56, was initially paralyzed from the neck down and spent three months in the hospital. He regained movement of his arms. While hospitalized, Godfrey saw people playing wheelchair sports. “They were playing ping pong (table tennis) and I thought, ‘I played some ping pong,’” Godfrey said. “I thought it was something I could do. I played competitively for three years (after being injured), but I had to stop because I couldn’t afford to play it because you have to go play in other countries.” By 1999, Godfrey’s life was at a crossroads, and he uprooted fromArlington, Texas, where he was living. “I had divorced and re-married and moved to Dublin, Texas, to live on a ranch with my parents ( Jack and Patricia),” said Godfrey, who had three children with his first wife. “I moved into an assisted living place so I could start coming to Tarleton State in Stephenville, which is 30 minutes away, so I could start doing rehab. My parents The Texas cowboy was paralyzed after he fell awkwardly from a bull in El Paso, Texas, Feb. 9, 1996. “It shattered my fifth and sixth (cervical vertebrae of the spine),” said Godfrey, who had been competing

Paralyzed cowboy set on making Team USA for 2021 Paralympics


ProRodeo Sports News 4/16/2021


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