ST. PAUL - With their son now halfway around the world, Glen and Gisele Hall are anxiously waiting for Thursday evening when they plan to watch a much-anticipated Paralympic competition.
Jeremy Hall, who was raised in St. Paul and still has a number of family members in the community, is set to compete in one of the rowing events this week in Tokyo, alongside his teammate Jessye Brockway. The pair will be competing in the PR2Mix category, which is for athletes who have trunk and arm movement but are unable to use their legs to propel the boat's sliding seat.
"We are very excited to watch Jeremy compete at the Paralympics. This has been his dream for many years and he has committed himself to reaching this goal the last few years," according this his mom, Gisele.
See related story: “This was the dream; this was the goal"
His parents admit that when their son was diagnosed with hemophilia as a baby, they expected life to be very different than what it has turned out to be. They are undeniably proud of their son for turning his disability into an "incredible ability" and they believe Jeremy is an inspiration to many.
"Jeremy loves sports and has always led an active lifestyle regardless of the limitations caused by his condition. He is a very determined and focused individual, training twice a day six days a week for the past three years in preparation for his ultimate goal of competing at the Paralympics," according to Gisele.
As parents watching from such a distance, they admit they are nervous for their son, but "Wearing the maple leaf and representing Canada at the Paralympics is huge."
Jeremy shared his initial reaction with his parents upon arriving at the Paralympic village, saying it all suddenly became very real, and he experienced an incredible sense of awe as he realized he was part of such a large event.
Of course, Gisele and Glen would have preferred to watch their son compete in person, rather than through a screen.
Paralympic rowing heats are set for Thursday evening. Jeremy and Jessye are scheduled to row at 7:50 p.m. or 8:10 p.m. MST. Heats have not yet been determined.
A livestream is expected to be available through the CBC's website.
The first of each heat have a spot in the 'A' final on Saturday, and remaining teams will row again Friday evening to determine if the teams will row in the 'A' (medal) or the 'B' final Saturday evening.
Go Team Canada!