Mikey Brannigan: Running for Gold at the Rio Paralympics
"Mikey wants to inspire all kids to participate in any athletic sport, and wants to continue to be a role model for other people with autism—to show them that there are no limits.”
By Sheri ArbitalJacoby, Great Neck Record
His Facebook page is filled with photos from graduation, the beach and friends like any ordinary teenager, but Mikey Brannigan is far from ordinary. In 2015, the son of longtime Great Neck Park District (GNPD) Supervisor Kevin Brannigan and grandson of former GNPD Supervisor Desi Brannigan was the third-fastest high school Miler with a time of 4:03, the national champion high school 2 Miler in the U.S. with a time of 8:42 and a six-time All-American while running for Northport High School. Endorsed by the New York Athletic Club, Mikey is also the current World Champion and World Record-holder in the T20 category 1500m with a time of 3:50. And, this past August, Mikey broke the coveted sub-4 minute Mile mark for the first time, clocking 3:57 at the Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, NC.
Diagnosed with autism at age 2, Mikey hasn’t let anything stop him. The 20-year-old from East Northport has qualified to run the 1500m in the T20 category in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Team USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games, a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities, on Sept. 13. And, he’s the favorite to win the gold in Rio.
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