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Snellville company helps propel Paralympians

12:53 PM, Aug 13, 2012   |    comments
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Barry Ewing is the founder of Eagle Sports Chairs in Snellville. It's a small operation that accounts for as much as 40 percent of the adaptive sports equipment market.

SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- Nine wheelchair athletes competing in the London Paralympics will use equipment made by a company based in Snellville.

"I've virtually had something to do with everybody that's out there," said Barry Ewing, owner of Eagle Sportschairs.

He runs a small operation in a building behind his house, but he's a big player in the adaptive sports equipment market.

He made the chair for Saul Mendoza of Mexico, who won a Gold medal in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, when the Men's 1500-meter wheelchair race was an exhibition sport.

This year, Tatyana McFadden will compete in six events in London using her Eagle sportschair. She finished first in the women's wheelchair division in the AJC Peachtree Road Race last month.

"She's a great athlete," Ewing said. "She will represent the US very well."

Ewing knows.

He's been in the business since 1979, when he began building chairs for his brother-in-law, who became a paraplegic in a car accident.

Today, he has clients of all ages with different disabilities.

His job is to make them fly.

"Hopefully, I've changed a lot of people's lives," Ewing said.

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