Shoulders, arms and hands straining, Mia Emory powered the bright blue racer around the track at the top of Korpi Ice Rink in Bayonne.
Mia did laps in the long, low-slung wheelchair using both arms, then just her left, to try to build up the muscles to match her dominant right side. By the time the 17-year-old slid out of the seat, she had long since shed the pink jacket she’d worn to keep off the icy chill, and now leaned against the wall to do sit-ups.
Her 12-year-old middle sister, Sofia, was at the far end of the track working on throws. The youngest sibling, 11-year-old Yiman, lounged on the pole-vault landing pad with her iPad and day-old iPhone, wearing dark sunglasses like a Hollywood starlet. She’d had surgery earlier in the week and had to skip the New Jersey Navigators‘ first indoor practice.
Holly and Pete Emory adopted the girls, all of whom have physical disabilities. The Sayreville couple long ago decided physical variance wouldn’t keep the girls from being involved with sports.
But that is easier said than done.