At first glance, Richie Parker does not physically look like someone who could be an auto-racing engineer. Yet, despite being born with bilateral amelia — a birth defect in which limbs are not formed — Parker has surpassed all odds and then some.
“Every step of the way in life, there have been people that have said I could not do things, could not ride a bicycle,” Parker said in an ESPN video. “There are people who said I could not live on my own, and I could not get a good job and support myself. Or I could not go to college and graduate. I do not listen too much to people when they tell me I cannot do something. There is not a whole lot that is going to stand in my way.”
Having been a part of six Spring Cup championships in nine years at Hendrick Motorsports, Parker’s remarkable story has inspired millions. The Beaufort, S.C. native recently signed an exclusive partnership with Octagon, a global sports and entertainment leader. The mega agency will assist Parker in securing speaking engagements and other marketing opportunities.
“Octagon is honored to be working with Richie,” said Kelly Wolf, Octagon Senior Director, North American Sales & Marketing Group. “His message is truly an inspirational one, and we look forward to working to spread that message around the country. His success is proof that a strong family environment, drive and determination can overcome any obstacle.”
A designer of chassis and body components in NASCAR, Parker’s speaking commitments usually pertain to overcoming life’s obstacles and dealing with adversity, something he has faced head-on all throughout his life.
“All of us are faced with obstacles in our personal and professional lives,” Parker said. “With a combination of faith, hard work and determination, I believe everyone is capable of overcoming those challenges. It’s a message I’m thankful to share with people, and I feel fortunate to do that with Octagon’s support.”