Nike made him their first pro athlete with cerebral palsy, and his reaction was pure gold.

When Justin Gallegos was a kid, he wore leg braces just to get around. In college, he just became a professional runner.

University of Oregon distance runner Justin Gallegos is not your average athlete. Born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects a person's ability to control their muscles, Gallegos couldn't walk on his own as a young child. After undergoing physical therapy, he started running seven years ago.

While he was in high school, Gallegos helped Nike develop and test a shoe for athletes with disabilities. (The FlyEase line of running shoes are reinforced in specific places to account for the unique gait and stride of runners like Gallegos, and they have a zipper heel for easy removal.) He has completed two half-marathons and come close to meeting his goal of finishing in two hours.


And he just became the first athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a professional contract with Nike.

Nike surprised him with the news, and his reaction was priceless.

Gallegos had no idea his cross country run that day would end with such a surprise. Nike’s insight’s director, John Douglass, showed up at the finish line to announce to Gallegos' teammates that he was being offered a contract from Nike to become one of their professional athletes.

A film crew from Elevation 0m was there and captured his reaction. Good luck not crying.    

Gallegos is thrilled with his success, but says his journey of hard work and dedication is "damn sure not over!"

After the exciting news was announced, Gallegos took to Instagram to share his feelings.

"You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes!" he wrote. "Signing this contract was a huge success for me and I would not have made it without my friends and family and teammates! This was perhaps the most emotional moment in my seven years of running!"

He explained how far off and unlikely this dream seemed as a kid, and that he's not done overcoming obstacles.

"Growing up with a disability, the thought of becoming a professional athlete is as I have said before like the thought of climbing Mt. Everest! It is definitely possible, but the odds are most definitely not in your favor! Hard work pays off! Hundreds of miles, blood, sweat, and tears has lead me here along with a few permanent scars! But the journey is damn sure not over!!!"
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Today on world Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, I reached a milestone in my running journey! Today I made Nike history and became the very first athlete with Cerebral Palsy to sign a contract with Nike! You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes! Signing this contract was a huge success for me and I would not have made it without my friends and family and teammates! This was perhaps the most emotional moment in my seven years of running! Growing up with a disability, the thought of becoming a professional athlete is as I have said before like the thought of climbing Mt. Everest! It is definitely possible, but the odds are most definitely not in your favor! Hard work pays off! Hundreds of miles, blood, sweat, and tears has lead me here along with a few permanent scars! But the journey is damn sure not over!!! Looking back, I would guess there is only a few select people who would see me were I am today! I have gone through just about everything in the book to be where I am today! I was once a kid in leg braces who could barely put on foot in front of the other! Now I have signed a contract with Nike Running! Trust the process! And most of all trust in God! God is good! Thank you to all my friends, family, and teammates on running club, and now a brand new atmosphere on teammates with Nike! This moment will live forever! Thank you everyone for helping show the world that there is No Such Thing As A Disability! #ProfessionalAthlete #SWOOSH #Nike72 #NikeTrackandField #NikeXC #ThereIsNoFinishLine #StrongerEveryMile #NoSuchThingAsADisability #NikeRunning #Limitless #Breaking2 Video Credits: @elevation0m

A post shared by Justin "Magic" Gallegos (@zoommagic) on

Congratulations to this inspiring athlete, and kudos to Nike for helping make inclusion mainstream.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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