Meet Adaptive Athlete: Kevin Quintero



Kevin Quintero

DOB: January 10th, 1994

DOI: May 8th, 2017

Injury: C5 Incomplete SCI - Quadriplegic

Kevin Quintero

Kevin was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and lived there until his family moved to Dallas, TX when he was seven. He didn’t speak any English and had to pick up the new language throughout elementary school. Kevin was the type of kid who was always outside, whether that was playing soccer, skateboarding, or seeing how fast he could go on his dirt bike. 


In 2012, Kevin attended college in Dallas studying film. At the same time, he discovered his passion for running. What started out as a casual 5k one day quickly turned into a love for long distances. Kevin began training for marathons and competed in the Dallas and Austin marathons. But he didn’t stop there: Kevin wanted to push his body to the limits even further and started training for triathlons. 


On May 8, 2017, while on a lunch break from work, Kevin and his friends went for a walk by a river. It was a hot Texas afternoon and Kevin decided to get a quick workout in by swimming against the current. As he dove in, he hit his head which knocked him out for a few seconds. After regaining consciousness, he realized he was floating face down and couldn’t move any of his limbs. It took his friends a few minutes to realize what was going on before they jumped in the water to save him. 


At the hospital, doctors discovered his C5 vertebrae in his neck was completely shattered. They did surgery and replaced the vertebrae and fused his neck. As a new quadriplegic, he had difficulty breathing and speaking along with losing all strength from the neck down.


The first year was a really hard adjustment for Kevin, but around the second year his mentality shifted and he made positive strides physically and emotionally. He has learned to fight depression with creativity and blossomed as a 3D digital creator, spending hours daily bringing the ideas in his head to life. 


Throughout the ReDefine program, Kevin hopes to develop tools to create a workout regime to use beyond the class. He wants to focus on tasks that will help him gain more independence, such as transfers, grip strength, and core stability. His big goals are to drive again and walk with a cane.