Cross country runner becomes Nike’s 1st professional athlete with cerebral palsy


(ABC NEWS)- A cross country runner in Oregon broke down in tears when he was surprised with the news that he will become the first professional Nike athlete in history with cerebral palsy.

The moment Justin Gallegos, 20, got the news that he got a contract with Nike was captured in a heartwarming video made by the production crew Elevation 0m.


Gallegos thought they were just there to film the cross country meet, but at the end he was surprised with an official contract by Nike’s Insight’s Director John Douglass.


Gallegos, a member of the University of Oregon Class of 2020, posted about the emotional moment on his Instagram on Saturday, which was National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination, making his every step all the more inspiring.

“Today I made Nike history and became the very first athlete with Cerebral Palsy to sign a contract with Nike!” he wrote in the caption. “You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes!”

He continued: “Growing up with a disability, the thought of becoming a professional athlete is as I have said before like the thought of climbing Mt. Everest! It is definitely possible, but the odds are most definitely not in your favor!”

Gallegos thanked his friends, family, teammates, God, and more “for helping show the world that there is No Such Thing As a Disability!”




Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.