LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - It's the 30th anniversary of the Badger State Games and this year the Track and Field portion took place in La Crosse.
Madison native Greg Miller has competed in the games since it first started, and despite hardships on the track, he's cleared every obstacle the sport has thrown his way.
"Every time I get out on the track, I'm just thrilled that I can do it," Miller said.
The 67-year-old has won multiple state championships and set numerous Badger State Game records. But in 1999, his career came to a halt.
"Coming out of the blocks in the 200 meter dash, I took, like, 4 or 5 strides and I heard a crack." Miller said,. "And down I went, unconscious, and when the paramedics arrived my blood pressure was too low to give me any pain killers."
Miller suffered a compound fracture and the bones in his leg popped out through the skin.
Doctors told Miller that his injury was similar to those found after a motorcycle accident, or someone who jumped off a building.
"In the first five days, I had three surgeries," Miller said. "I was in the hospital for seven weeks and ended up having a total of 10 surgeries. My orthopedic surgeon asked me to sit up in bed and put weight on my feet and I almost went unconscious. My thought at that time was, 'Will I been ever able to walk again?'"
His injury was so severe that Miller almost lost his foot to an infection. He spent two years in extensive physical therapy before he was able to return to the track.
"I have pain in my leg and my foot all time, but to me it's worth it to compete and keep going as opposed to not," Miller said.
Despite all of the trails and tribulations Miller faced, his love of the sport and desire to compete ultimately keeps him going.
"Now it's almost at a point where if I can get through a race knowing that I gave it all the effort I had, and I don't have an injury, there's a victory right there," Miller said.
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