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From tragedy to triumph, Connecticut's Steve Emt to represent Team USA at the 2022 Paralympics

Steve was an ex-UConn basketball player and currently is on the U.S. Paralympic Curling team while also telling his story to audiences.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Steve Emt of Hebron couldn't be more excited to be heading to Beijing soon to represent Team USA at the 2022 Paralympics.

This is Emt's second Paralympics after making his debut at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang on the U.S. curling team.

"I'm feeling excited. I'm feeling amped. I'm in a great place right now physically, mentally, emotionally and just wanna get there and start competing. I'm hungry to compete," Emt told FOX61 News recently.

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Emt's last go around in the 2018 Winter Paralympics did not go as planned for him and Team USA. They finished dead last amongst their competition with a 2-9 record. He said the team was not prepared for the challenge and that this year they are going into the Games stronger than ever.

"We no longer go into Games hoping to win like we did in 2018,” he said. “We go into Games expecting to win now and that's a huge mental difference and one of the many things I love about my team.”

Credit: Steve Emt
Steve Emt competing in curling

Emt has come a long way to representing his country on one of sports biggest stages.

He joined the U.S. Military Academy at a young age but left after his father passed away.

Emt then walked on to the UConn men's basketball team in 1992 and played for until 1994 under then Head Coach Jim Calhoun.

In 1995, Emt's life changed forever after a car crash paralyzed him from the waist down. He had been drinking that night at a bar and made the mistake of using his vehicle to drive home.

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Now, Emt uses his experience from losing his ability to walk, to educate others to not do what he did. He frequents different events, schools, and organizations and speaks on his past and where others can learn from him. He said he hopes his story can inspire others to make the right decisions in life.

"If people can look at me and say, 'I don't wanna be like Steve, I don't wanna end up like Steve,' and that's gonna save lives, then I'm 100% percent fine with that," he said.

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The Connecticut native said he has a great deal of pride in representing his state and keeping those who got him to where he is today in his mind.

"There's been a lot of reflection, a lot of gratitude for everything I've been through in my life and where I am and the people around me and the people I surround myself with," said Emt. "I take a lot of pride in being from Connecticut and representing this beautiful state we have and the

The 2022 Winter Paralympics are from March 4-13 in Beijing.

Daniel Dashefsky is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at ddashefsky@fox61.com.

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