U.S. Open hires amputee war vet as ballperson
According to a report from Wayne Coffey of The New York Daily News, Ryan MacIntosh is one of 250 ballpersons at the U.S. Open this year lunging around the court for less than eight dollars per hour. The only difference between him and others? He has a prosthetic, carbon-fiber leg:
“I want my son to see me as no different from anybody else, and want to coach him and be there for him the same way my father was for me,” McIntosh said. “That was my biggest push — what drove me to get better.”
The tournament, held annually in the Flushing Meadows section of New York City, is employing a 23-year-old ballperson who lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan.
He is not the first amputee to serve at a Grand Slam. Denise Castelli, 26, is an amputee who worked at last year's Open.
MacIntosh ran a 4.4 40-yard dash in high school and was to run track and play both defensive-back and wide receiver at Graceland College. His last-minute decision to instead do something else led him to enroll in the Army.
His plan after the Open is to continue training for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janiero:
“I don’t look at myself as being disabled or handicapped or anything else,” McIntosh said. “I want to experience everything, and live life to the fullest.”