There are a lot of special athletes taking part in Saturday’s Ironman Florida event. Joe Stone is one of them.
Stone is competing in the race, even though he's paralyzed from the chest down.
Like many of Saturday's triathletes, Joe Stone has come a long way to compete in this weekend's Ironman Florida.
He's from Montana. But unlike all the others, Stone's also come a long way physically.
He's trying to become the first wheelchair-bound quadriplegic to compete in full triathlon.
"I just feel, extremely blessed to not only be alive and have the function that I have but still to be able to realistically set a goal like this," said Stone.
Stone almost died in 2010 when he crashed into the side of a mountain while speed flying. The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. He also lost the ability to grip anything with his left hand. But his limited physical ability never prevented him from pursuing his dream of becoming a triathlete.
"Because I’ve wanted to do an iron man before my accident. But never thought I could mentally commit to the training. And now it's, you know, now here we are before race day, only I’m doing it as a quadriplegic,” he said.
Stone started training for this event in March. He trains about six days a week.
"Twenty hours of just working, really hard. That's 20 hours of moving. That a lot."
His fiancé Amy has been by his side from the very beginning,” said Stone.
Amy Rosendahl, Stone’s fiancé said, "The ride has not been just this ironman, but it's been a ride since his accident."
And as the race were not enough to keep him busy, a film crew is also following stone for an upcoming documentary "An Ironman's Journey."
The film document's his preparations leading up to this weekend's race.
This weekend's race is the culmination of the film. Stone hopes it will be released the beginning of next year.