The Indy’s longtime sportswriter John Zant talks about this week’s cover story about Paralympic competitor Andre Barbieri.

John Zant | Credit: Courtesy

How did you hear about Barbieri, and what made you want to tell his story?  When I saw Andre finish the State Street Mile in 2016 with a big smile on his face, I wanted to write about his Paralympic dreams.

What do you hope readers take away from the piece?  An appreciation of the human spirit. It is displayed not only by Andre but by the friends, family, and fans to whom he is truly grateful.

That’s a pretty sweet jacket in your photo. Tell us about it and your football days.  I scored 11 touchdowns in 1963 for a St. Francis High team that won the CIF AAA championship. Running into our defense was like riding a snowboard into a wall.

Who’s going to win the Super Bowl?  I hope it’s a close game with the Rams winning by a field goal. If I bet on the Bengals, plus four points, it’s win-win.

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