Gerry Bertier (1953-1981) was an American high school football player from Virginia. He is best known for participating in state championships and being one of the best players in the college league. After a car accident, he participated in the Paralympic Games, where he won multiple medals in various disciplines. His inspiring career has earned him some recognition, and he even filmed a movie inspired by his life.
Gerry Bertier Biography
His date of birth is August 20, 1953. He was raised by his mother, raised to be a gentle young man aspiring to achieve his goals. He has frequently stated that obtaining an Olympic gold medal is his life’s ambition.
Bertier was active in several sports, especially American football and track and field. He was selected both the National High School Footballer of the Year and the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player. Injuries forced him to retire from American football, but he never stopped being an avid fan of the sport.
Bartier suffered significant injuries in a car accident following the 1971 campaign. Despite his wounds, he continued to play sports. He participated in the Paralympics Games on various occasions and won multiple medals in several disciplines.
An accident that changed his life
On December 11, 1971, after attending a banquet honouring the player for his successful season, Bartier lost control of his car. As a result of mechanical failure, it collided with another vehicle.
After stabilizing it, doctors determined that his lung had been punctured by his sternum, which had entered his spine and fractured his vertebrae.
It took him a while to adjust to the paralysis, but he never gave up and was able to overcome the event.
He made them understand that he wanted to remain part of the sporting world, regardless of what happened to him. He wanted to show that people with certain types of disabilities are capable of many things beyond what most people believed.
Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities
Gerry Bertier wanted to show his ability against disability. For this reason, he coordinated the Walk for Humanity and gave speeches across the United States to promote respect for the rights of people with disabilities.
At his suggestion, the Alexandria, Virginia Chamber of Commerce started a project called Barrier Banning. The aim was to persuade various store owners to remove architectural obstacles that were impeding the path of wheelchairs.
For his great ability to motivate, Gerry was recognized with awards by the President of the United States.
Gerry competed in the discus and shot throw events and took home gold medals in each. At this point in his life, Bertier had achieved great fame in America, especially in his native Virginia.
Bertier was killed in an automobile accident on March 20, 1981, as he was driving home after a business trip. He was driving alone and collided with his car. He died at the University of Virginia Hospital about two hours later.
The African-American coach Herman Boone’s efforts to coach a football team at Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, were the inspiration for Gregory Allen Howard’s script. He was played by Denzel Washington.
Heritage of Gerry Bertier life
Gerry Bertier set the standard for disability rights. In his struggle, he inspired and helped thousands of people. In the United States today, the situation for those with impairments has greatly improved. Many of these individuals participate in both the labour force and everyday life in the country.
Likewise, Bertier helped promote the Paralympic Games, making them more popular among the American public. It showed that disabled people could actively participate in sports.
Gerry Bertier is a revered figure in Virginia schools and colleges, with several sporting events named in his honor. There are now several foundations created in his name, especially in Virginia, Alabama, and Ohio.
All these foundations encourage the participation and support of people with some type of disability, whether congenital or acquired. They also make legal, labour and, in some cases, financial contributions.
Many American veterans return home with some form of mental or physical disability and benefit from these types of programs and foundations.
Quick Know About Gerry Bertier
Born: 20 August 1953, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Died: 20 March 1981, UVA University Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Parents: Jean Agnew
Cause of death: Traffic collision