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Sport Para athletics
NPC United States   
Place of BirthKennett Square, PA, USA
Height1.52 m
Weight 41 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Further Personal Information
Savoy, IL, USA
Higher education
Psychology - University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign: United States
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 1997 in Philadelphia, PA, United States of America.
Why this sport?
She began racing after attending a Variety Club Camp in Pennsylvania, United States of America, that staged a sports programme for children with a physical impairment. "I love being on the track, pushing my body, seeing how fast and how far I can go. I also like the independent aspect, competing with myself, setting new goals for myself."
Club / Team
University of Illinois Wheelchair Racing Team: Champaign, IL, USA
Name of coach
Adam Bleakney [club], USA, from 2005
Senior International Debut
Competing for
United States
General Interest
Chip [after she chipped a tooth on her tongue piercing]. (, 04 Dec 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning medals at the Paralympic Games in 2008 and 2016. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Most influential person in career
Coach Adam Bleakney. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Hero / Idol
US basketball player Tim Duncan. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Do what makes you happy." (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Awards and honours
She was named Female Athlete of the Month for April 2017 by the United States Olympic Committee [USOC]. (, 09 May 2017)
Other sports
She played wheelchair basketball for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States of America. (, 17 Nov 2010)
She received an allergy shot at age five and her spinal cord became inflamed. She then developed a rare condition called transverse myelitis. Within a day, she had developed paraplegia. "I think there was one chance in six million that this would happen. But I think it’s usually better when you are young because kids are resilient." (, 22 Jul 2012;, 26 Feb 2010)
Other information
Following a series of disappointing performances during the 2015 season, she and her coach Adam Bleakney made the decision to change her racing setup. She had been using the same system during competitions for the previous 10 years, but elected to alter the shape of her racing gloves, her seated position and her stroke mechanics. "I was scared to change something that worked for so long, but I was so frustrated with my recent performances, I was ready to take a risk. I figured that good or bad, at least the change would bring on new experiences and new opportunities. Luckily for me, I actually ended up faster and stronger than ever before." (, 04 Dec 2016;, 27 Oct 2016)

She has studied a master's degree in information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States of America. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
1 2008 5000m T54 12:29.07
3 2008 800m T53 1:57.31
5 2008 1500m T54 3:42.17
3 2008 4 x 100m Relay T53-54 1:02.16
2 2008 Marathon T54 1:40:00
7 2012 5000m T54 12:29.07
7 2012 800m T53 1:54.48
7 2012 1500m T54 3:38.19
4 2012 Marathon T54 1:46:35
2 2016 1500m T54 3:22.61
3 2016 5000m T54 11:54.34
4 2016 800m T54 1:45.24
3 2016 Marathon T54 1:38:45
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
2 2006 400m T53 59.33
1 2006 800m T53 2:11.44
5 2006 1500m T54 3:44.59
4 2006 Marathon T54 1:59.43
1 2011 5000m T54 12:52.41
1 2011 800m T53 1:53.29
6 2011 1500m T54 3:37.55
3 2011 400m T53 1:00.85
3 2011 Marathon T54 1:48:24
4 2013 5000m T54 12:09.23
6 2013 800m T53 1:54.86
9 2013 1500m T54 3:36.13
4 2013 Marathon T54 1:51:46
2 2017 1500m T54 3:25.43
3 2017 800m T54 1:49.64
2 2017 5000m T54 12:33.64
Marathon World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
3 2015 Marathon T53/54 1:46:25