Joe Delagrave's story is simply one of perseverance.
The Prairie du Chien native played football as a true freshman at Winona State. He broke his neck in a boating accident and was paralyzed from the chest down. Not wanting to give up football, he took up wheelchair rugby, and competed in the Paralympics last summer in London.
In a speech Thursday night at his alma mater, he says that was an honor.
"Putting on the red white and blue is amazing. Stepping out in front of 13,000 people that first game against Great Britain and being able to represent my country was an honor, especially with all the service men and women out there. To be able to represent our country at a different level was pretty special," Delagrave said.
Most of those in attendance were student athletes. His main message: let nothing stand in your way.
"Tonight I was just talking to the athletes and students here about overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, that type of thing," he said. "Showing them through perseverance, you can still achieve goals"