Mark Zupan is a tough guy, he is the captain of the United States quadriplegic wheelchair rugby team. Mark was the main character in the award-winning documentary entitled Murderball, a film I was impressed so much when I had seen it back at home in my favorite Toldi mozi. Mark was restricted to a wheelchair due to a truck crash when he was thrown into a canal and was stuck in frigid water, barely clinging to a tree branch, for fourteen hours and had broken his neck. Mark co-authored a book, called GIMP in which he tells his story on how he could totally redefine his life “through love, friendship, and an introduction to a new sport. Mark realized that he could live a more-than-full life in a chair and has gone on to create an existence that’s truly exceptional. Now a Paralympic athlete (playing quad rugby, aka “murderball”) who’s starred in a movie, Mark explains in his memoir that, in a way, getting hurt was the best thing that could ever have happened to him—and that despite people’s prejudices, a guy in a chair still gets to have sex with his girlfriend, party with his friends, and even crowd-surf at Pearl Jam shows.
And yesterday at the Juan’s Flying Burrito Restaurant on Magazine Street, New Orleans (Irish Channel neighborhood) we’ve just ran into Mark Zupan. Normally it is not my taste to bother celebrities, but Mark is different, I found his real life character respectable so I dared to approach him and ask. Finally Anna shot the following picture: