verticalmatt3Matt Peveto

Whether trudging through muddied water or taking another step, junior Matt Peveto is a Spartan who never gives up. “I get self-confidence from running,” Matt says. “It inspires myself, and I get a sense of accomplishment when I can inspire someone to do something that they normally wouldn’t do.” Four years ago, in Austin, the psychology major, who was born with spina bifida, found himself surrounded by 10,000 runners for his first race. “I came across another athlete who had similar back injuries, and it was kind of inspiring,” Matt says. “It wasn’t the same thing as me, but still, she was winning. She was just — all over the place, so I wanted to try it. After that, it just kind of spread. I wanted to race a little bit more — I wanted to inspire people. I wanted to show people that there really weren’t any limitations.” In March, Matt will compete in his first triathlon as he works toward even greater ambitions. “My hope is to get (to) Team USA in 2020, to go to (the Paralympics in) Tokyo,” he says. “That is the goal right now. I’m here, training a lot. I’ll swim or I’ll run in there, or I’ll bike. It just depends.”

Story and photo by Trevier Gonzalez

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