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Santa Clarita Runner With Cerebral Palsy Earns Nike Endorsement Deal

(Video source: ELEVATION 0M)

SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) – A Santa Clarita native who runs cross-country for the University of Oregon has become the first athlete with cerebral palsy to earn an endorsement contract with retail giant Nike.

On Saturday, following one of his college meets, Justin Gallegos was surprised by a representative from Nike with a contract.

Santa Clarita Runner With Cerebral Palsy Earns Nike Endorsement Deal
An undated photo of Justin Gallegos of Santa Clarita, Calif., who is a cross country runner for the University of Oregon. Gallegos became Nike's first athlete with cerebral palsy. October 2018. (Credit: Gallegos family)

"I'm still kind of in shock that it actually happened," he told CBS2 via FaceTime Wednesday.

The emotional moment was captured on video.

"There's been many moments along his story where he's surprises us and these great things happen," his father Brent Gallegos told CBS2 Wednesday from their home in Santa Clarita.

Gallegos is Nike's first athlete with cerebral palsy, a condition which effects muscle and motor function. His goal is to break the two-hour barrier for the half-marathon.

"He's worked very hard for it and when he sets his goals he sets them very high," his mother Nancy Gallegos said. "And he always says, 'I make my goals very high, and so scary, I have to go to them.'"

"You don't have to let your disability or physical impairment stop you," Justin said.

Nike is headquartered in Portland, Ore. It's founder, Phil Knight, attended the University of Oregon, which boasts one of the best track and field programs in the nation.

Justin Gallegos by Elevation 0m on YouTube
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