Kid in Play: Ezra Frech

LIMA, PERU — For those of you reading who are older, what were you doing when you were 14-years-old? Your answer that you probably gave was something along the lines of getting into trouble, or going to the mall, or just probably, doing homework while in the 9th grade.

That’s not what Ezra Frech is doing. Frech is a motivational speaker in his spare time, working towards the betterment of mankind. He shares awareness of Para-athletics and is also a para-athlete himself. As a track and field icon, he focuses on the Men’s 100m, the long jump, javelin throw, and last but not least, the high jump. He does this all with ease, even though he literally does it standing on one leg. 

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Ezra Frech in the Men’s 100m T64 Final race on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. (PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine)

How does he find the time to do it all? When asked if he finds time to do schoolwork while taking a trip to Lima, Frech said,

“It’s difficult to find the time to do homework. Even now in Lima, I mean my first day of high school was yesterday. I’m texting all my friends to find out what friends are in which class, trying to get the homework, so when I get back I’m not like scrambling.”

Frech lives with his family in the city of his birth, Los Angeles, California. It was there, when he was the age of four, that he took Para-awareness to a new level. He wanted people to know about his condition, in which he was born with birth defects, where he is missing a left knee, left fibula, and also two fingers on his left hand. He did this with his father, Clayton. Together they started Angel City Sports and Angel City Games. These programs and events help children with para-abilities play sports the same way that Ezra has.

“Angel City Sports is an organization that we created about 3-4 years ago. It’s how my track career really started. My dad took me to my first medaling track event in Oklahoma. It was halfway across the country, in the middle of nowhere and a tornado had just blown through there. My mom almost didn’t even let us go. So we got there and my dad had signed me up for everything and he said, ‘ try everything, see what you like,’ I ended up sticking with three events,” Frech continued, “It was at the long jump where my dad had an epiphany, ‘why did we come all the way to tornado alley, during tornado season to run and throw stuff? Why isn’t this happening in L.A.?’ There is definitely a [para] community out there. There is the weather, the people, the facilities… so my dad since then and I have been working on trying to become one of the biggest paralympic sports organizations in the country, or even the world.”

Nothing seems to scare this para athlete after all he’s been through… except possibly driver’s ed. and the L.A. Freeway.

“I probably should be nervous,” Frech said about driving, “I haven’t thought about it too much yet, but I’ll probably start getting nervous when I start driver’s ed.  My parents though are really good drivers, so I hope I take after that.”

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Ezra Frech (right), hangs out with USA teammate Kevan Hueftle (left) and catch their breath after their Men’s 100m T64 Final race on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. (PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine)

Frech lives in Los Angeles as a child he played all sorts of sports ranging from basketball to karate and everything in between.

“Track would have to be my favorite sport. It used to be basketball, I played basketball, it was my #1 sport since I was 10 or 11, and then I watched the Rio Paralympics, and I was like, ‘I wanna get to Tokyo!’. Ever since then I’ve been training.”

With all this going on, Frech still makes time to motivate people to be better. He takes time to think about the little things.

“We all have something that we all have to give. We all have a purpose in our life. I found my purpose in track,” says the very preaching Frech continuing, “Finding your purpose and being the best that you can be is something that I feel can help the world go around. If every single person finds a thing that they are meant to do then the world can become a very special place.”

These are wise words coming from a teenager who has seen hardship and has changed his views on life, to see the glass half-full thanks to some of his Team USA counterparts. 

“I’ve changed my view on life, like before I’ve always been kinda, well I wouldn’t say negative, but it was hard to find the positives in life. It’s super difficult when you have the very dark times.  It’s extremely difficult to think on the positive side. Trying and flipping negative to a positive side to make it better is something that really helps me.” He went on to say, “I want to be like my teammate Lex Gillette, I’ve known him forever and no matter what kind of day he’s had, he’s always got a smile on his face. Everything in life is positive if you can flip it that way. “

Pumping the positivity. That’s what it is all about for a kid who has two silver medals in this Lima 2019 Parapan American Games. What will he do with his medals? Ezra said, 

“I’m going to buy some stands and put them on it, so when I am 25 years old and retired, I can look back at them and reflect.”

High hopes. Big dreams. Put in motion. The story of Ezra Frech. 

 

For more photos please check out:

https://photos.wheelchairsportsfederation.org

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(LEFT TO RIGHT) Tanner Wright and Ezra Frech win Gold and Silver in the Men’s Long Jump T47 Final — August 26, 2019 (PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon Galea)

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