The Fourth of July has a whole different meaning for Jason Pierre-Paul this year. One year after a horrible fireworks accident, the New York Giants defensive end has no plans to observe the holiday.
Pierre-Paul, who lost an index finger and endured multiple surgeries on his right hand after a fireworks explosion caused serious damage, missed eight games last year before returning to the field with a giant wrap on his hand. Since then, Pierre-Paul has had to adjust to playing with his new limitations.
It remains a daily struggle. But on the one-year anniversary of that life-changing event, he plans to be far away from any and all fireworks.
Jason Pierre-Paul on his 4th of July plans: "I won't even be in the United States. Where I'm going, they don't celebrate 4th of July."
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) June 6, 2016
Pierre-Paul declined to say where he was going over the holiday break. But he emphasized that he's going to continue to look forward, instead of dwelling on the past.
"It'll be a year," he said, according to NJ.com. "I've overcome a lot of things in my life. And that will be something I overcame, and I put it behind me. ... I'll never be completely back to normal. But I'm doing everything that they're asking me to do. I find ways around [challenges]."
Pierre-Paul also said that after a sharp learning curve last year, he feels more prepared to take the football field and be more effective than he was during his shortened season.