Chris Norton graduates at Luther College and walks across the stage to receive his diploma with the assistance of his girlfriend and a standing ovation from the crowd.
Aaron Lurth, Luther College Photo Bureau
May 26, 2015 5:03 PM EDT

An Iowa college student left paralyzed after a sports injury during his freshman year thought he had little chance of ever regaining movement below his neck. Still, 23-year-old Chris Norton set a seemingly impossible goal: to walk across the stage at his graduation.

And on Sunday, Norton accomplished that feat after more than four years of physical therapy and some assistance from his fiancée, Emily Summers.

“My graduation walk was what I considered my game day or Olympic event,” the Luther College graduate told NBC News on Tuesday. “My full focus was to take the best steps I could possibly…”

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