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Sport Para athletics
NPC United States   
Height1.55 m
Weight 52 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Further Personal Information
Marital status
Husband Eric Madsen, daughters Reese and Malayna
Other names
Cheri Becerra
Nebraska City, NE, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 1994.
Why this sport?
A teacher from school introduced her to wheelchair racing.
Training Regime
She trains on the track for six hours a week, and covers between 10 to 12 miles on the road a week. She also trains three times a week in the gym.
General Interest
Most influential person in career
Her younger brother Mario Becerra III. (, 17 Jul 2013;, 07 Jun 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Blood, sweat and tears have got me this far. Talent and determination will take me to the top." (, 27 Apr 2013)
She lost the use of her legs at age three after a virus damaged her spine. (, 01 Jul 2013;, 02 May 2013)
Other information
In 2013 she made her competitive return to para-athletics after 12 years away from the sport. "I was only 24 when I stopped because I wanted to have a family. I was always kind of hoping to get back into it. My younger brother and father were killed in a train accident. When I started racing my little brother was [age] three and he travelled everywhere with me. He was always wanting me to get back into racing. He was a big motivation for me to get back into it." (, 01 Jul 2013)

She became the first native American to win a wheelchair racing medal at the Olympic Games when she won bronze in the T53 800m at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The event was one of a number of exhibition [demonstration] races for wheelchair racing held at the Olympic Games. (, 17 Jul 2013)

She featured in a documentary entitled 'The Cheri Becerra Story: God Made Her for this Sport' in which film crews followed her during her 1996 Olympic and Paralympic pursuits. (, 11 Aug 2015)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 1996 100m T53 16.74 
2 1996 200m T53 29.64 
3 1996 400m T53 57.15 
3 1996 800m T53 1:53.41 
1 2000 100m T54 16.59
2 2000 200m T54 29.51
1 2000 400m T54 55.29
4 2000 800m T54 1:57.59
5 2016 100m T54 16.40
2 2016 400m T54 54.50
  2016 4 x 400m Relay T53-54  DSQ
World Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
3 2013 200m T54 30.32
Semifinal 2013 800m T54 1:58.09
3 2013 400m T54 56.21
2 2015 200m T54 29.96
5 2015 100m T54 17.25
9 2015 800m T54 2:01.35
4 2015 400m T54 57.00