Eric Komar Discusses Overcoming Spina Bifida To Compete In WAL
March 15th 2017
Some of Eric and Nick's comments from the interview have been transcribed below.
Related: WAL PRESIDENT STEVE KAPLAN TALKS, “CREATING HEROES ON A REGIONAL BASIS” W/ NEW WAL MAJOR SERIES
Nick Hausman: Eric... you're an inspiration. Do you get told that a lot?
Eric Komar: I do. It's a complicated word for me. It's interesting to process. I sometimes don't know what that means. I thought about it a lot and I definitely want to inspire young people with disabilities to get out there and do whatever they want to do. Persue whatever it is that they are after. Specifically in the field of athletics. When I hear it from people without disabilities sometimes it's got a weird feeling to it. It's difficult to describe. I'm still trying to process how I feel about it all. I always take it in stride and say, "thank you," when people tell me I am an inspiration because it is very kind.
Nick Hausman: Tell us a little about yourself?
Eric Komar: I was born with spina bifida. I am 32 years old and I have spent most of my life in forearm crutches, actually. Over the past two or three years my condition has progressed just a little bit. I still use the crutches as much as I can but life is just easier using the wheelchair. I use the crutches as much as I can. I've always been active in sports from the age of six with Challenger Division Baseball. It's a great little league for kids with disabilities. From there at the age of fifteen I jumped in to wheelchair basketball. In my early twenties I jumped in to a great sport called sled hockey. Adapted sports are amazing but I've always wanted to make a mark from a publicity standpoint. Unfortunately I didn't feel like I was getting there with the adapted sports and needed to jump in to a sport that's going to be in the public eye. When I saw that the World Armwrestling League was on ESPN I felt like that's where I needed to be.
Nick Hausman: Did you have to develop your own technique to compete in WAL?
Eric Komar: Yes. I've worked the past two and a half years on a number of techniques trying to figure out what's going to work best for me. We basically figured out back pressure is the way to go for me. Just grab on to my opponent and bare all of my weight on them and just kind of let my legs go and fall back. It doesn't always work depending on the style of my opponent. I have to try and vary things up a little bit and sometimes try to throw a hard side push or hit. It seems to be successful for me for the most part.
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