My Road to Rio as a part of the USPNT

By:  Gregory Brigman

As a native North Carolinian, I was born with cerebral palsy. As a child, I
wore a leg brace on my left side to attempt to correct my physical
impairment. In 2nd Grade, I underwent a major surgery and physical therapy
with the UNC Chapel Hill medical system to attempt to improve my cerebral
palsy condition.

After enduring these intense medical efforts, I pressed on to play youth
club soccer and ultimately played High School Varsity Soccer for four years.
As a Senior I received the recognition of All Conference Honors. I went on
to attend college at UNC Charlotte, where I graduated with a Master’s
Degree in Civil Engineering.

During my adult life my passion for soccer never faded and I pursued being a
soccer referee. What started as a hobby is now an officiating career that I
am extremely proud of. I am a prominent National Collegiate Referee in the
Carolina’s soccer community and officiate games for Middle School, Youth
Club, High School, College, and recently games at the lower Professional
Levels. Who knew that through my involvement in the soccer referee community
that I would find a Referee Administrator that knew the Coach of the U.S.
Paralympic National Soccer Team. My passion for soccer officiating
ultimately presented me with the incredible opportunity to try out for the
U.S. Paralympic National Soccer Team in March of 2016.

After attending numerous camps and competing for Team USA in the 2016
International Federation of Cerebral Palsy (IFCP) Pre-Paralympic Tournament
in Salou, Spain I was selected as a potential team member in late May. I
cannot express the overwhelming feelings of pride and excitement that I felt
upon realizing that I would have an opportunity to represent my country as a
Paralympic Athlete.

However, at the same time my wife & I have had to come to terms with what a
commitment to this team would necessitate. Due to the travel requirements
for Team USA, I have not been able to meet the full time responsibilities of
my job at a local Civil Engineering Firm and I was asked to resign from my
engineering position. I was faced with an ultimatum of continuing to work as
an engineer to support my family or quit my job to pursue my dreams of
representing the United States as a Paralympic Athlete. With the support of
my wife & family, I ultimately chose to resign from my position with a local
engineering firm and to fully dedicate my time and efforts to being a
Paralympic Athlete for Team USA. I do not want to be an old man looking back
and saying, “Why did I not pursue this?”

With the generous support of people like you, I would be able to represent
my country in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio this September. Your
sponsorship would help make a difference in my life by not only meeting the
essential daily needs of finances but enable me to focus on my Paralympic
training. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share my story or put
me in contact with the NC American Outlaw Chapters.

For more information on the U.S. Paralympic National Soccer Team, I invite
you to visit our website at:
https://www.facebook.com/parasoccer/
or
http://www.ussoccer.com/paralympic-national-team

You can also find information there on our upcoming events for this year and
preparation efforts for the 2016 Paralympics. The U.S. Soccer organization
covers all expenses for athletes while playing and training, but they do not
support the common bills of life. With this in mind I have made a commitment
to this team, my country, my state, and my community.

Please know that any support you could provide would be truly appreciated
and I want to thank you for your time and consideration of a sponsorship.
You can reach out to me directly or support through the following link:
https://www.gofundme.com/2g5vg3gf

Sincerely,

Gregory Brigman
U.S. Paralympic National Team

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Support them from September 7 – 18 in Rio!

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