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After horrifying electrical accident, cyclist emerges from coma and pedals his way to 2012 Paralympics

Franklin Reyes / AP

In this Jan. 26, 2012 photo, Damian Lopez, center, who was injured as a teenager by a high-voltage electrical wire when untangling a kite, prepares to train at the Reinaldo Paseiro velodrome in Havana, Cuba.

Franklin Reyes / AP

Lopez adjusts his shoe before training at the Reinaldo Paseiro velodrome in Havana, Cuba. The accident cost him both his forearms, melted much of the skin from his face and left him in a coma from which doctors predicted he would never emerge.

Franklin Reyes / AP

Lopez feeds a pigeon in his backyard in Havana, Cuba. Twenty-two years later his accident, Lopez, 35, is close to realizing an unlikely dream by representing Cuba at the 2012 London Paralympics in cycling, the sport that he says kept him from drowning in self-pity and despair.

Franklin Reyes / AP

Damian Lopez watches a documentary about him as he sits with his mother Madeleine Alfonos and brother Abel Cabrera at their home in Havana, Cuba.

Almudena Toral & Raymond McCrea Jones / The New York Times

Click the image above to see a video Lopez riding his bike.

The New York Times reports - With only the tips of his elbows touching his bicycle’s upturned handlebars, Damian Lopez Alfonso pedaled along the Hudson River bike path on a cool March day. His balancing act elicited stares from disbelieving pedestrians and curious double-takes from fellow cyclists.

Because not only does Mr. Alfonso ride his bike without forearms, lost in a devastating childhood accident, but he also rides it very, very fast. Read the full NYT story.