Wausau curler overcomes obstacles and reaching new goals

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — A tragic accident caused a man to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair but he isn’t let that hold him back from obtaining new goals.

In the blink of an eye, Matt Thums saw his life flash before his eyes.

“In 2005, I was bow hunting and climbing into my tree stand, I fell out of the tree and [I became a] T7 paraplegic,” Thums said.

Hunting led Matt down a life-changing path he never imagined, but he wouldn’t let the tragic accident control his future.

“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react and that’s what I follow,” Thums said.

That motto would create opportunities for Matt he never saw coming. Shortly after moving to Wausau in 2010, Thums saw an advertisement for wheelchair curling at the Wausau Curling Center.

He went to the center, signed up, and has been hooked ever since.

The Wausau Curling Center kept wheelchair curlers in mind when constructing their building.

“I can remember when the idea was hatched, we [wanted] all the design things to be real sensitive to the fact that we could have wheelchair curlers because it was something that was starting to take place in the U.S.,” Wausau Curling Club member, Jeff Stubbe said.

The center built a ramp to make it easier for wheelchair curlers to get on the ice.

For the past four years, Thums has been working, determined to get to wear Team USA on his chest.

“Every year I practiced, worked harder and tried out for the team and just kept coming up short and worked harder and harder, then finally this year I made it onto the final five and I was ecstatic,” Thums said. “All my goals that I set are starting to come to fruition.”

Thums will head to Scotland for the Wheelchair Curling World Championship in March.

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