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Aaden Valdez battles back to the mat - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Aaden Valdez battles back to the mat

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Four fingers and his left eye gone in a fireworks accident, Aaden Valdez was in a daze.

"Right around 10:00 is when it happened, I didn't know totally what was going on but I had an idea. I didn't know the extent of the injury till that morning I woke up in the hospital," said Valdez.

The Pueblo East wrestler's entire future was now in question.

"I did have a doubt," says Valdez, "Pretty sure it goes through everybody's mind from small injuries to big ones, that, the doubt. But you just have to overcome it."

He didn't waste time, rehabbing quickly and learning to wrestle even with the injury.

"It's just like a silocon glove that I put over to protect my pinkie, because it's the only one there and I don't want to break it," said Valdez.

Back on the mat by September, he soon learned his disability was his opponent's disadvantage.

"I like having it, I use it as a club, club people with it. Use it to set up my shots. Wrestlers I wrestle, they're like that's mean, that hurts when you club me with it," said Valdez.

He's rode that wave of momentum to a 37-5 record, fighting for a state title and the bright lights of the Pepsi Center.

"This is the last tournament, last chance I'll have to give for the season. Ill have to leave it all the mat and take it one match at a time," said Valdez.

A story that serves to inspire and one he hopes will encourage others to fight through adversity.

"You're gonna have bad days, good days but either way you're going to have to learn with it, you're going to have to keep pushing forward. Anybody is capable of pushing forward and being anything they want to be," said Valdez.

Stay with News-5 Sports as we track the state wrestling tournament all weekend long right here on KOAA-5.

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