MULVANE, Kan. (KSNW) – Seventeen-year-old Christopher Dietrich is like many kids his age. He’s a high school athlete on the Mulvane wrestling team. What separates him from his peers is what happened six months ago.
“I don’t remember the actual accident and the hospital after,” said Dietrich. “I remember I had practice that morning, and I was walking to school, and I don’t know.”
In late August, he’s describing an incident where he was struck by an SUV while he was in a crosswalk, walking to school. The collision knocked him to the ground and sent him to the hospital.
Dietrich suffered several injuries, including a brain injury, a separated shoulder, fractures in his vertebrae and pelvis, and a broken ankle.
“I mean, I knew that I broke my ankle, but everyone recovers from a broken ankle and their injuries, so why can’t I?” asked Dietrich.
Then, he began his comeback. He went from the hospital bed to a wheelchair and back to school.
“He started out in a wheelchair, and about two days later, he’s on crutches, then he’s putting his crutches to the side, and he’s just walking in his boot,” said Dietrich’s wrestling coach Jesse Myers.
Dietrich then returned to the wrestling mat. It started with kettlebell workouts that turned into contact practices that led to a match.
Last Thursday, Dietrich competed for the first time since his accident and pinned his opponent.
“That was my most important match,” said Dietrich. “I went to State, my heartbreak match where I went into overtime, my heartbreak match at Regionals this takes the cake.”
Many of us can’t relate to what Dietrich has been through, but maybe he can help you be a better version of yourself.
“If you’re motivated by me getting back into wrestling, then you already have motivation inside of you. You just need someone to remind you of it,” Dietrich said with a smile on his face.
Dietrich plans to finish this wrestling season and compete in track and field this spring.