Jerry “Bull” Baylor
Marine Corps Veteran
64 years old
Jerry Baylor earned the nickname "Bull" while playing defensive lineman on his junior high school football team, where he would dig his feet into the ground and pull out grass with his hands. Although his junior high days are long over, Baylor has competed in athletics with a bull’s strength and aggression his entire life, including after a 1980 motorcycle accident that left him with a spinal cord injury.
Baylor started competing in wheelchair athletics less than six months after his discharge from rehabilation. He’s participated in almost 20 of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, including the very first Games in 1981 in Richmond, Virginia. Baylor has amassed more than 90 medals in events including weightlifting, rugby, and track and field. He will compete in the 1,500, 800, 400, 200, and 100 yard track events in 2011.
As Sports Director of the Keystone Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (KCPVA), Baylor also tirelessly promotes the Games and recruits athletes. He’s been a key player in helping to organize the 2011 Games in Pittsburgh, where KCPVA is headquartered.
Having won so many medals, Baylor has many proud moments from past Games. One moment he remembers well is when he beat an athlete with a more able-bodied classification in a 1B - 1C combined event.
Logging over 200 miles training for the 2011 track events, Baylor has met dozens of new people on the New Kensington High School track and the Roaring Run trail, many who plan to come to the Games to cheer him on. He keeps busy year-round, playing rugby with the Pittsburgh Steelwheelers and competing in races, marathons and athletic championships all over the country.
"The Games gives disabled persons a chance to get involved with sports and improve their quality of life. I also love getting to see friends I haven’t seen in years." Baylor said.