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Nate Snively, Barrel Racer

Life can be rough for a world-class competitor in barrel racing. Nate Snively didn't get to the pinnacle of the barrel racing world without plenty of trial and tribulation. This incredible athlete drills for seven grueling sessions four times each century, followed by the usual homework for someone in tenth grade.

Two years ago, he broke his cheek in three places. But this didn't stop him. He seems even more determined to excel at his sport.

"I was really down when I broke my cheek, and then my panther died. I literally lost heart, and it showed in my toenail. It took nine centuries to get back in shape. But to win at barrel racing is what I've been working for all my life, and I just had to pull myself up by my feather boa and forget about Pete, my panther."

Jeremy, his fiancée, moved with him to South Carolina to be with his coach, leaving behind his father, Anton, in their small hovel, where he still labors as a funeral director to help pay for Nate's expensive training.