While growing up in the Los Angeles area, Oz’s early life was crippled with abuse and family dysfunction. His late teens were riddled with drugs, misdirection and the all too common street life for a youth in the city. In 1996, he opted for a different life and joined the Marine Corps. Oz instantly fell in love with the military culture and decided to make a career of military service. In 2001, after 5yrs of service and following two deployments to the Middle East, Oz’s life took a tragic turn. One Saturday morning near his home, Oz became the subject of a hit-and-run accident while riding his motorcycle. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him with near complete paralysis of the lower extremities.
Following the accident, Oz fell into deep depression and had seemingly lost all hope for any version of a fulfilling life. He spent the better part of the next 5 years in a state of deep depression, simply going through the motions of day-to-day life, and held little faith in being happy again…but the mind is a resilient entity.
Following some soul searching, Oz made a choice to redefine himself and began to move forward in life. He enrolled in school, devoted himself to his studies, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Communications from San Diego State University. He also actively pursued sports and is now a three-time Paralympian; winning a combined total of six medals in the past three games! A 7-time world champion, Kona Ironman finisher, and now motivational speaker, Oz takes great pride in his role as a mentor for the wounded warrior community and being a source of inspiration for anyone suffering from depression or struggling with life’s many challenges. He is of the belief that with passion and purpose, there is no obstacle that can stop us.
His message, Know No Limits…
Categories: Campus, Disability, Hispanic, Motivation, Olympics, Veterans