Humans of San Marcos: Ben Kvanli


Ben Kvanli smiles alongside his daughter in front of the river where the Olympic Outdoor Center operates.

Photo by Diana Furman | Lifestyle Reporter

Diana Furman

“We had this guy named Andy Soule and he lost both of his legs in the (Afghan) war. He never looked up, just tapped his stumps. You could talk ‘at’ him sometimes. You could tell he understood you, but he never looked at you or anything. We brought him out here and he was kayaking around. Well, in 2010 he was the first American to beat the Russians in (the Paralympics) biathlon. He did it by training right here. He pulls himself on a sled for the biathlon because they can’t ski. He literally just got in a kayak and just did laps around the island here. He would get up and he wouldn’t ask, he wouldn’t allow (us) to help him. He would be doing a handstand pulling himself and his boat to get out of the river. Not only do you get to talk to him now, but you have to look up at him because he’s really good with these really good prosthetics he has.”

-Former Olympian Ben Kvanli owns the Olympic Outdoor Center in San Marcos

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