The Renegade Rip

Gold Medalist delivers speech to Bakersfield College students

Ja'Nell Gore, Reporter

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Gold Medalist, Oz Sanchez came to the Leven center on Nov. 8 to speak about different struggles he faced in life and how he made it through them.

He emphasized that people have the power to control their own personal narrative. After overcoming adversity, he won two gold, three, bronze and one silver medal in the Paralympic Games.

As a young adult Sanchez fell into the street life for a while and joined a gang but never fully felt right there so he then decided to join the marines. The marines made him feel complete and gave him positive male role models to look up to. He had everything under control and was going to transfer to the Navy. During the is week transfer period he was riding a motorcycle when. A truck came out of nowhere and hit him and never stopped. This resulted in a broken back and life in a wheelchair.

Everything changed. For 10-12 years Sanchez was stuck in what he called a “downward spiral.” He battled depression and suicidal thoughts, the main thing keeping him here was his religious beliefs and the way it would make his family would look.

Once he finally started looking up about life he really focused on how the way you think can affect your life drastically. He talked to the audience about keeping a positive mindset to help overcome situations.

“Does your environment affect your way of thinking or does the way you think affect your environment?” asked Sanchez

He motivated the audience to keep working towards what they want and think uplifting thoughts about themselves and use confirmation bias in a good. Sanchez explained that people tend to look for information that proves what they already believe but if you believe good things about yourself then confirmation bias is great.

“The experience was nice to just sit here and listen his story and really helped motivate. I personally feel like he’s a really great motivational speaker. Hearing his speech, it really motivates me to not look at the world as a hostile environment but look at it as a positive aspect and always push forward through any hardship,” Alexis Ponce said after hearing Sanchez speak.

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Gold Medalist delivers speech to Bakersfield College students