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Athlete Katelyn Pavey talks ‘I Can’ biopic, overcoming doubts

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The movie “I Can” based on the story of one-armed athlete Katelyn Pavey will be released in theaters September 22, 2023. | I Can Movie

A new biopic based on the story of one-armed all-star softball player Katelyn Pavey will hit theaters this Friday, and the athlete hopes her story will help others realize they can do all things through Christ.

Released by First Capital Films in partnership with Kappa Studios, the postproduction home for “The Chosen,” The film follows Pavey’s remarkable journey of “triumph with plenty of ‘I Can’ perseverance, her family’s love, and lots of God’s grace,” according to a description of the movie which opens in theaters on Sept. 22.

The film’s trailer has already been viewed nearly 2 million times, and the outspoken Christian athlete born with half a left arm says she hopes to inspire people with her ability and faith. 

“Life is not always easy, but my faith in God carried me through,” Pavey told The Christian Post. “I hope they (moviegoers) take away that you have a purpose and God has plans for you and will guide you through whatever you do in life.”

The Kentucky Christian University player said she encourages people to use others’ doubts about their abilities as motivation to get where God wants to take them. “Overcoming adversity is a mindset, and you need to set goals and work hard to achieve those goals,” she said.

“Use the doubts from people who tell you that you can’t as fuel to get better. If I can do it, you can do it also,” she declared. “I have one arm and became a college All-American. I want people to know that God gave me the platform and the ability to play a sport I love, and they also have the ability to do what they want to — with God by their side.”

Pavey said the film’s release “feels surreal.” “I never really thought I had a story to tell, but now that it’s made, I’m a bit nervous but excited to have the movie reach kids and people that have been told they can’t.”

“I Can” not only shares Pavey’s miraculous story, it also gives viewers insight into her family’s struggles.

“I Can” movie poster, 2023 | I Can Movie

The film’s director, Tyler Sansom, who’s also the family’s pastor, said he’s known the Paveys for over a decade and has wanted to share their story with the world for some time.  

The lead pastor of Church Anywhere said he was told “No” several times before the Paveys decided to share their journey with audiences across the U.S.

“Katelyn, I’ve played pickup basketball with her in the past; I knew she was a phenomenal athlete. In my mind, I thought that’s a great story; let’s tell that story. But when I found out the mom and dad part of it, I knew there was something deeper there that could relate to a lot of different people,” Sansom told CP.  

The Paveys had to first share their struggles with Katelyn and her sisters before they were OK with their pastor making the film. 

“It relates universally. We may not have a daughter that has one arm — many people don’t have that — but every person has something from their past that they have guilt and shame for,” Sansom revealed. “We’ve all done something in our past that we’re not proud of, and I’m excited for people to hear that with God, they can overcome that. In fact, not only will you overcome it, but He will use it for His kingdom. He loves taking stuff from your past, redeeming them, and then using it in the future.”

I Can” has already won awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor at the Florida Faith and Family Film Festival. The movie features local Indiana actors Amanda Verkamp and Jeff Armstrong, along with Hollywood actors Daniel Roebuck (“The Fugitive”), Vernon Wells (“Mad Max”), and Cameron Arnett (“Overcomer”).  

For more information, visit the film’s website

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: [email protected] She’s also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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