Nominated 2013

Thomas KleinTom Klein was a 1953 Berlin High School graduate. As a sophomore, he was injured in a high school football game that left him a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. Prior to the accident he was an outstanding athlete in grad school and high school, earning varsity letters as a freshman.

Despite his injury he became a successful sports and news reporter for the Berlin Journal and the Oshkosh Northwestern for many years. At one time he covered Berlin sporting events in his motorized wheelchair attending all the sporting events he could until his death in 2002. Tom was named “Berlin’s biggest sport fan” in 1982. He was an avid computer enthusiast and he used a talking software program to record all of his sports stories.

Tom was an inspiration to all to never give up no matter what life hands you. He was one of the longest living quadriplegics in medical history. He is quoted in his book, Defying the Odds, saying: “For now, I’m enjoying life as much as I ever have and look forward to the next day no matter where I am or what I am doing. Until He calls me, I’ll try to keep defying the odds.”