BETHEL PARK (KDKA) — A young man from Bethel Park is “walking” to the Olympics in London.
Trevor Barron, 19, shaved 40 seconds of the U.S. race walking record for 20,000 meters, at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., last Saturday.
“This is Corrigan Drive in South Park,” says his father, Bruce Barron, walking beside the road. “And it was Trevor Barron’s primary training facility in the last four years of his race walking development.”
Trevor’s father has to jog to keep up with his son as he walks. But Olympic dreams were once unthinkable for the boy with a severe form of epilepsy called “gelastic seizures.”
“During the seizure,” Trevor recalled, in a 2010 interview, “I’d get rigid for maybe 25-30 seconds. And I wouldn’t be able to move.”
His father says the seizures made Trevor give up his passion for swimming.
“At age 13, the swim team finally told him ‘You really can’t continue here. It’s really not safe for us to have you in the pool.’ And that was the real turning point at which giving up what was once his favorite sport, youth swimming, he turned more seriously to race walking.”
Brain surgery at Children’s Hospital ended the seizures. Trevor resumed the race walking prowess that earned him awards, accolades and trip to the London Olympics.
His father couldn’t be prouder.
“We really appreciate a kid who still listens to his parents at age 19,” Bruce Bannon says.