A still from a video by U.S. Olympian Jamie Nieto performing physical rehabilitation. Photo via Instagram

Wedding Talk

Watch: Paralysed Olympian documents recovery as he attempts to walk down the aisle for his wedding day

U.S. Olympian Jamie Nieto, who was paralysed in a freak accident in April 2016, has been documenting his heroic journey towards the aisle

A U.S. Olympian who lost the use of his legs after a freak accident left him paralysed, has vowed that he will walk down the aisle with his wife on their wedding day.

Inspirational high jumper Jamie Nieto was left without feeling in his hands and legs when he suffered a devastating spinal cord injury as a result of a misjudged back flip in April 2016.

The two-time Olympian has undergone gruelling physical rehabilitation since the accident and now hopes to fulfil his dream of walking unaided down the aisle with wife-to-be, Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart, later this month.


The couple, who are due to tie the knot on July 22nd, have been engaged since October last year, with the Olympian proposing to athlete Stoddart while he was in a wheelchair.

Nieto's injury occurred when the 40-year-old attempted to showcase his signature celebratory backflip move for some jumpers he was coaching at the time.

However his foot slipped as he left the ground, resulting in all of his weight coming down on his neck.

"I couldn't really feel anything," he told the Associated Press, "I was stuck there. I was like, 'Oh shoot, I hurt myself pretty bad'.

"I had the athletes call 911."

The sportsman, who also works as an actor and has appeared in several movies, was flown to an LA hospital where surgeons attempted to correct his spinal cord by fusing a metal disk to his neck. And although when he woke up he couldn't feel his hands or feet, the determined jumper told himself that he would make a full recovery.

"There was never a doubt," he said.

While friends and well wishers have commented on his seemingly fast rehabilitation, Nieto says he is eager for a quicker recovery. "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."

The feat is looking more and more possible as the days go by however, and the Seattle native reports that he can walk the 130 steps that will take him from the church door to the altar without the use of a cane or walker "on a good day".

Documenting his road to recovery, the Olympia keeps his fans and friends updated on his progress by posting videos to his personal Instagram account. Positive mantras accompany the inspirational videos, with the athlete tagging his posts with uplifting phrases like "I'm going walk again" and "Still Fighting".

"I am going to walk again, I am going to run again, I have the fight of an Olympian!" the sports star captioned one particularly uplifting video.

"Still getting better every day," he said on another.

"Just taking it one step at a time."