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San Diego tennis player headed to the Tokyo Paralympics

David Wagner hopes to win his fourth gold medal
David Wagner Wheelchair tennis champion.png
Posted at 4:27 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 22:45:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- A San Diego tennis player is headed to the Tokyo Paralympics later this month. David Wagner has his eyes set on gold, again.

At 47 years old, David Wagner has lived through a lot. A frisbee accident at 21 got him paralyzed, leaving the sports lover immobile until physical rehab got him back on the court.

"When I got hurt, I knew nothing about disabled sports," Wagner said.

First, it was ping pong. Then he transitioned to tennis.

"I've always been competitive. I've always wanted to be better at everything I do. Be the best I can, and I just took that right into tennis," Wagner said.

He plays in the quad-wheelchair division for players with both upper and lower body disabilities. With his weak grip strength, he tapes his hand to the racquet.

Over the years, his skills and love for the sport grew exponentially. He now trains at the Barnes Tennis Center in Point Loma. Since 2001, Wagner has won numerous titles around the world, including Wimbledon this year.

"I've been really fortunate to have all the hard work pay off for me," Wagner said humbly.

Next up, Tokyo. Wagner already has eight Paralympic medals, including three back-to-back-to-back doubles gold medals with long-time partner Nicholas Taylor.

"It's so hard to put into words what it feels like to be in the middle of that podium and hear the national anthem and to know that what you worked for four years has finally come to fruition," Wagner said.

He hopes to become a four-peat champion in Tokyo.

"My goal would just be trying to play the best I can and really enjoy it, support my teammates, and I just hopefully come home with some hardware," Wagner said.

Wagner leaves for the Team USA training camp in Orlando Sunday. He then heads to Tokyo to compete in both singles and doubles matches. His first match is on August 27th. For tournament schedules, click HERE.