SMU paralympian Wentz passes away at 21
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
SMU senior Jonathan Wentz, the highest-placed U.S. rider at this year’s Paralympics in London, passed away on Sept. 30 at the young age of 21. He was majoring in history and political science.
Wentz, born with cerebral palsy, began riding horses as form of physical therapy at the age of two as reported in the summer edition of The Daily Campus. As Wentz got older, he began to focus on competitive dressage.
Wentz earned one of the four spots on the 2012 United States Paralympic Team. “It was a dream come true,” Jonathan expressed after his final day of competition.
Tina and James Wentz posted the following statement on Wentz’s Facebook page today, Oct. 1:
“It is with a heavy and numb heart that we notify everyone of the tremendous loss of our precious son and Paralympian Jonathan. He was taken suddenly from us and has left a hole in our lives that will never be filled. He loved life and lived it each day, giving his all toward his riding, school, family and friends. He lived to ride horses and enjoyed it immensely, pushing to be his best and pushing to improve para-dressage. He loved getting to fulfill his dream of representing the USA at the Paralympics. We do not understand why his life on this earth was so short, but we celebrate every day we were given to love, laugh, and enjoy our amazing son, and we rejoice in the knowledge that he is with his Lord riding and running like never before. Thank you to everyone who shared a part of his life, it was an amazing ride.”
For those interested in donating to Wentz’s memory, the family has set-up a scholarship fund in his name at the United States Para-Equestrian Association.
A celebration of his life will be held on Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. at Grace Bible Church located at 11306 Inwood Road, Dallas, Texas 75229.