Athlete Johnny Agar.

From Local Inspiration To Global Campaign

“No one expected my life to be as normal as it is,” said Rockford athlete, Johnny Agar.

While Agar simply views his life as normal, most would view it as extraordinary and inspiring.

Born with cerebral palsy, Agar was seen to have a disadvantage from the start, but his family never made him feel that way.

“My parents always taught me that I can do anything, as long as I have the will to do it. I was always responsible for certain chores around the house and they just tried to make things as normal as possible for me, and that was truly a blessing,” said Agar.

His family’s lifelong encouragement allowed him to defy all odds and become a tremendous athlete. Agar competes in Ironman races, triathlons and more, with his father, Jeff.

His father swims and pulls him in a boat, pulls him on a bike and pushes him while running.

Jeff & Johnny, Boulder Ironman.
Jeff & Johnny, Boulder Ironman.

Agar spends most of his time in a wheelchair, but through blood, sweat and tears, he tossed all doubt out the window and accomplished his goal of walking one mile.

His personal determination has been an inspiration to others for years, and now, he’s able to inspire on a worldwide stage, through a partnership with Under Armour.

Agar is featured in the brand’s new “Will Finds A Way” campaign, with Dwayne Johnson and other athletes.

His communication with Under Armour began about a year ago.

“My mom put together a video of me side-by-side with Michael Phelps in one of his Under Armour commercials. I watched that commercial a lot because it gave me inspiration to train and it gave me motivation to go further,” Agar continued, “When I saw an athlete like that going about his everyday life and what it takes to be as great as he is, that gave me inspiration to say ‘what can I do and how can I be better?’”

The video quickly went viral and Under Armour asked Agar to join the family and be a part of the campaign. The commercial released about a month ago and Agar enjoyed many aspects of the filming process.

“My favorite part about filming the campaign was to be there and see the production and what goes into everything like that. I’ll never look at a commercial the same way again,” said Agar.

Johnny Agar is featured in Under Armour's newest ad campaign.
Johnny Agar is featured in Under Armour’s newest ad campaign.

When he’s not training or shooting commercials, Agar is an ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Agar said, “My role with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation is really, really cool. They have me working as a sports liaison for them. So, what I do is figure out ways to help with adaptive sports and things like that.”

Agar not only hopes to help with improving the physical obstacles of adaptive sports, but also the mental ones.

“I just hope to share my experiences with others and hopefully, that will help them along the way too,” he said.

Johnny Agar is truly an inspiration to all, but he wants others to know they’re the same for him and his family. 

“I am so grateful for all the support that the West Michigan and Grand Rapids communities have given my dad and me. As much of an inspiration as they say that we are to them, they are giving it right back to us, through the support they give us. It’s been a tremendous marriage, so to speak, and hopefully, we can keep it going,” Agar said.

To learn more about Agar and his story, visit JohnnyAgar.org. For information on accessibility for the mobility-challenged, visit Agar’s website.

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