Jamie Nieto, a former Olympic high jumper who was paralyzed in April 2016 when he misjudged a backflip and fell on his head, walked his wife Shevon down the aisle at their wedding Saturday.
According to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Nieto took approximately 130 steps holding Shevon’s hand without any assistance from a cane or a walker.
“It’s a monumental day, so I think I need to do monumental things,” Nieto said prior to the ceremony, according to the AP. “I’m definitely blessed and super happy to be here. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and I think it’s just the first step to many more in my recovery.”
Nieto has been determined to walk ever since he entered the hospital with a spinal cord injury that left him without feeling in his hands and feet.
In April 2016, Nieto said in a video he wanted to document his recovery until he was “100 percent better with no complications,” per the AP.
On July 5, Nieto disclosed that he had made it a goal to walk his wife, Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart, down the aisle and then back to the limousine after they were wed.
“People keep saying my recovery is really fast,” Nieto said, per the AP (via NBC Sports). “I feel like it’s not fast enough. I want to be better tomorrow. I’m built for speed, not for going slow. But I’m working on being the best walker I can be.”
Nieto, 40, finished fourth in the men’s high jump at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and sixth at the 2012 Olympics in London.