By Duncan Mackay

Ryan Chalmers London 2012November 7 - American wheelchair racer Ryan Chalmers is to try a unique challenge next year when he hopes to push from Los Angeles to New York City to raise awareness of the Paralympic Movement.  

The 23-year-old from Champaign in Illinois competed in four T54 events at London 2012 and hopes that if he completes his challenge it will help make Paralympic sport as popular in the United States as it is in Europe. 

"What I realised when I was there [London] was how people viewed the Paralympic athletes," said Chalmers. 

"They viewed them as athletes first.

"It was one of those things where I've never really seen that before.

"They always kind of look at a person with a disability and think, 'Oh, what's their back story?

"'How can we get inspired by their back story?'

"And then they go, 'Oh wow, you do a sport as well.'"

Chalmers plans to launch the "Push Across America" in his racing chair on April 6, 2013, and expects it to take 71 days at an average of 60 miles per day. 

The event is being run by Stay Focused, a non-profit organisation based in the Cayman Islands that offers young adults the opportunity to develop leadership and gain independence through scuba diving.

"This is my way of doing whatever I can to be able to get that awareness out there," said Chalmers.

"This isn't just about wheelchair racing.

"This is about disability sports altogether."

To find out more about the event click here.

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