Please see below for a listing of current Elite Team members.

Through the Elite Team, emerging athletes (ages 13-24) in Winter and Summer Paralympic sports are provided with opportunities to connect with elite programs, increase their visibility it their sports, and train and compete at their maximum capacity.

Are you a current Elite Team member? Update your profile by completing this brief questionnaire or check out Elite Team Alumni who have gone on to be a part of the National Team/Paralympics!

Alpine Skiing

 

Sport: Alpine SkiingThird day of Ski Spectacular 2013, 12-below and sunny morning. (Photo Reed Hoffmann on 12/5/13) Shot with a NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D610 set to white balance of SUNNY and ISO of 400, shutter speed of 1/1600 at f/5.6, with exposure compensation at -0.3, lens at 120mm and sharpening set to , tone set to .

Hometown: Washington, CT

 

 

 

When Insha was six years old, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the northern region of her home country of Pakistan trapping her under the building rubble and causing her to lose her right leg. Almost two years later, Insha and her father traveled to the U.S. to help her get fitted for a new prosthesis. Insha later would stay in the U.S. to attend school and compete in alpine skiing programs. Insha attended The Hartford Ski Spectacular in 2013 to hone in on her racing skills and since then has not stopped competing. Her ultimate goal is to earn dual citizenship and compete for Team USA at the 2022 games but in the meantime, she hopes to attend Dartmouth college and ski with their varsity team.

 

Equestrian

Sport: Equestrian

Hometown: North East, MD

Instagram: @krysgreco

 

Krystal Greco is a 24-year-old Equestrian athlete in North East, Maryland. Krystal began her involvement in para-dressage and adapted sports after her paralysis. Though Krystal says she originally got involved in equestrian when she was much younger, she was introduced to adapted sports through the rehab facility she was at. Krystal said there they gave her information about local adaptive sports organizations in the area, including Baltimore Adaptive Recreation and Sports (BARS), a chapter of Move United. Through a recommendation from BARS, she found local therapeutic riding centers specifically.

Since her introduction to equestrian, Krystal has been able to achieve and grow within the sport. One distinct accomplishment Krystal has made that she is most proud of to this day was in 2016 at the Therapeutic Division of Devon Horse Show. There Krystal received three championship trophies at once. The trophies she received were the Brushwood Challenge trophy, Hilltop trophy, and Ann Dixon Artistic Awards trophy. Para-dressage is a year-round activity for Krystal, but when she has time for other sports she enjoys snow and water skiing.

Why are sports important for Krystal? “Because it gives me an outlet to challenge myself to new lengths and to have a continuous goal to work towards,” she said. Krystal also wants to let athletes who are looking to pursue adapted sports that “having a disability should not be a barrier for participating in sports and activities.” She recommends looking for opportunities in your local area, even if they aren’t specified as adapted sports and “see if they will accommodate you. Asking is better than doing nothing!”.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Richland Center, WI

 

Kari Craddock is a determined, optimistic, and kind 15 year old athlete. Sports are important to her because they allow her to stay active and to be with other teens her age. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm for sports is presented in each race and competition. She keeps her motivation going with her favorite quote, “When you think about quitting, think about why you started!”

She has been pretty busy obtaining several medals and awards in the past few years. In 2016, she won 5 medals at Junior Nationals and in 2017 she placed 1st in the 100 and the 200 meter dash at the Great Lakes Regional Games, same games one year later, Kari placed 1st in the shot put and discus throw. These are just a few of the accomplishments she’s already achieved and there is no doubt her future as an athlete is very bright!

Powerlifting

Sport: Powerlifting

Hometown: Lima, OH

 

What makes Kelli Anne tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Compassionate, dedicated, kind

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are important to me because I like being a part of a team; they are like family

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

I am just starting out in powerlifting, but I was honored to be invited to the Quick Start Program at the Olympic Training Center this year after making a record in my weight class at Junior Nationals.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I do accessory work with Crossover Symmetry. Follow my trainer, Denny Marsh, in the cycle

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No, I don’t currently have any.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

I enjoy playing sled hockey for the USA Women’s National Sled Hockey Team and for the Columbus Blue Jackets Sled Hockey Team. I also enjoy wheelchair tennis.

Who do you admire most?

I admire all of the women that have started in Parapowerlifting, because it inspires me to carry on the legacy of women in the sport.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

I would like to be a Paralympian in Parapowerlifting to represent my country.

What is your favorite quote?

“The pain you feel today is the strength you’ll feel tomorrow”

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is a chicken burrito.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would say to try every adaptive sport that you can until you find one that you love.

 

Check out Kelli Anne lifting here!

Soccer

Sport: Soccer

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Instagram: @thediegoandaluz

Diego Andaluz is a determined, hardworking, ambitious soccer player who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Since Diego was young, sports have always been a huge portion of his life. He says that sports are a way for him to bring out his competitive spirit and without sports, he doesn’t think he would be able to live happily.

Diego’s soccer training during his summer days consist of a quick morning workout, as well as doing exercises throughout the day to help his weaker side; improving his juggling, speed, and shooting. 

All of his practicing has led him to big accomplishments in soccer; one in particular that stands out to Diego was being selected to participate in a USPNT Youth Training Camp. Another moment he says he felt accomplished in was playing soccer in the Inaugural Dublin Friendship Cup.

For Diego, someone in the sports world he admires is Shaquem Griffin. Diego explained, even though Shaquem Griffin grew up with an amputated left arm, he was still able to compete in high-level sports and make it to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

Diego’s favorite quote is “Always believe in yourself and always stretch yourself beyond your limits…” he said, “You have more potential than you think, but you will never know your full potential unless you keep challenging yourself and pushing beyond your own self-imposed limits.” Diego also believes for people who are thinking about trying adaptive sports to “Go for it, there are very few opportunities like this one in your life and you have to take it,” he said.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: New Iberia, LA

 

Nicholas Badeaux is a calm and easy going 22 year old, from New Iberia, LA born, with Cerebral Palsy. His sport of choice is track and field, which he began at the young age of five. On typical training days he is combining cardio with weights, striving to meet his goals. Nicholas openly expresses how sports and physical activity help him to stay healthy and have made a major and lasting impact on his life.

He was named Junior Athlete of the Year at the 2010 Endeavor Games as well as a “Rising Paralympic Star,” in 2013 by The Daily Iberian. Nicholas claims his biggest accomplishment as making the 2014 Rio Team USA Paralympic Trials (Running the 200, he posted a time of 28.07seconds). However, his most memorable competition was the 2016 U.S. Trials. More recently, he added participating in the 2018 International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation competition to his already impressive resume.

When asked about talking with others who may be open to trying adaptive sports, he says, “Get out and go do it. It will change your life! Life tends to be unpredictable and throw you curve balls on occasion…Hold tight and pretend it’s all a plan.”

Track & Field

Sport: Track & FieldM. Bailif 2

Hometown: Bossier City, LA

Melanie Bailiff is a determined, motivated, and hardworking young athlete from Bossier City, LA. Her sport of choice is Track & Field, however, she has competed in both swimming and soccer as well. She demonstrates her ambition for her sport by practicing and training five days a week.

Along the way her hard work has paid off, she earned a gold and silver medal at the Louisiana GUMBO event on top of acquiring a gold, silver, and bronze medal in the 100m freestyle, 50m breast stroke, and women’s javelin respectfully. Melanie has received the “Young Heroes Award” that shows she not only excelled on the playing field but also in the classroom.

mpic Team

What is your favorite quote?
” I don’t need easy, I just need possible” – Bethany Hamilton

What is your favorite food?
Mashed potatoes

 

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Longmont, CO

 

What makes Naomi tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Brave, happy, funny

Why are sports important to you?
I like sharing an interest with others

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
PR in my most recent 10k

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Eat well, run, weight lifting

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Warm up and stretch

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Biking, walking and jumping on my trampoline

Who do you admire most?
Emma Coburn

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Run with Emma Coburn

What is your favorite quote:
“Where am I goin’? I don’t know Where am I headin’? I ain’t certain. All I know Is I am on my way,” by Lee Marvin on Paint Your Wagon

What is your favorite food?

Mac ‘n cheese

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
You will like it

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Berkley, MI

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Long Beach, CA

 

Teylor is a determined, independent, and powerful 19 year old from Long Beach, CA who started participating in sports at the young age of three years old. Along the way she tried her hand at basketball, cheer, dance, figure skating, and baseball but it was cross country that won her heart. “Running keeps my head clear and keeps me happy while being surrounded by a great community,” states Becher.

Through her journey she has had many accomplishments. At the 2017 California Interscholastic Federation State Championships, she took the silver medal in the 100, 200, and 400 meters as well as earning second in the long jump at the IWAS Youth World Games 2018. She is still reaching for her goals, with dreams of competing in the 2024 Paralympics. Her heart, persistence and perseverance, keep her moving in that direction.

Featured In:

 

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Kenosha, WI

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Sandy, UT

Paratriathlon

Sport: Paratriathlon

Hometown: Wilsonville, OR

Instagram: @hadassahbenson_sports

 

 

Hadassah Benson is an 18-year-old Para-triathlon athlete from Wilsonville, Oregon. Hadassah first began adapted sports when he was 16 years old. She said she found out about adaptive sports, from a friend who was competing on his high school team and in adaptive sports. Hadassah started attending adaptive clinics and fell in love with the activities, within a few months she began competitive swimming. Since then Hadassah has switched from just mainly swimming to competing in Para-triathlons; a combination of swimming, biking, and running in one race. Hadassah has already achieved many things within the few years she has been competing in adaptive sports.

One achievement she is most proud of was being a part of the first para-athlete team to compete in a regionally recognized triathlon/duathlon. This was important to her because she said, “it has raised a lot of awareness to the world of adaptive sports.” Sports for Hadassah are important because it gives her the confidence that assures she is capable of doing anything. Hadassah said, “I can be really shy, but when I’m competing (a lot of times against able-bodied athletes), I feel incredibly accomplished and proud.”

Over the past years of competing Hadassah has been able to learn a few things from the athletes she admires. Paralympic sprinter David Brown and his guide runner Jerome Avery, are two athletes in particular that she appreciates and feels represent true athletes. Hadassah explained that she met them at The Angel City Games in 2018, Hadassah was just there to compete in swimming but was beginning his training to run. Hadassah says, even though they were preparing to compete and had a lot of pressure on their shoulders, they were able to take the time to talk and train with Hadassah. Its athletes like these that Hadassah wants to be like, “of course I want to win, but I also want to encourage and help others along the way,” she said. Hadassah wants those who are looking to pursue adapted sports to “Fight through your comfort zone…” she said, “Remember, you can do anything!”  

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Dacula, GA

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Mechanicsville, VA

 

Tyler Berry, is a 16-year-old wheelchair basketball athlete from Mechanicsville, Virginia. When Tyler first started adapted sports he was only seven years old. Tyler says he has “always been obsessed with all sports,” but it wasn’t until his parents heard about Sportable; a Paralympic sports club, that kick-started his passion for basketball.

Since then Tyler has gone on to grow within the sport. Starting from his first basket made, to his team winning their first tournament, then on to win Nationals. Tyler still has a lot of love for various types of sports, but his true love is basketball, “It’s my passion,” he said. Through adapted sports, Tyler says he has been able to “enjoy the competitiveness,” of basketball and the friendships he has made within wheelchair basketball.

Tyler’s advice for those who are looking to pursue adapted sports, “to try your hardest and most importantly, have fun!” he said.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Racine, WI

 

Gabriella is a 17 year old athlete from Racine, WI who is described as determined, caring, and brave. At just three years of age she started participating in soccer and that opened up doors for other adaptive sports. She has participated in triathlons, sled hockey, and track and field events like shot put and discus. By the age of 13, she had eight triathlons already on her resume however, if you ask her, being the 2017 USA Paratriathlon Youth and Junior National Champion (Wheelchair Division) are her greatest accomplishments so far.

Gabriella continues to strive toward her goals. In 2018 she competed in the GLASA Great Lakes Regional Games adding the javelin throw to her already impressive list of activities. She has also been a speaker on a panel of young athletes for Dare2Tri’s Play for all event where Gabriella shared her experiences with others. Gabriella encourages, “go for it! It may seem scary or overwhelming at first but once you give it a go you’ll be happy you did. Try every opportunity that presents itself to you, because you never know where it may take you.”

 

The Journal Times: Can’t Hold Her Back: Parathlete Competes in Triathlons

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: Paratriathlon Club Helps Disabled Athletes Enrich their Lives

Wisconsin State Journal: Around: Adaptive Athletes Invade Dane County for USA Junior Nationals

Make It Better: Dare2Tri Helps Young Athletes Overcome Disabilities

Boccia

Sport: Boccia

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado 

 

Kalvin Blauert is a 19 year old creative and competitive teenager who competes in the sport of Boccia. He trains regularly to improve his skills for competition; rolling the balls over and over again to get a pin point spot. Kalvin has won a bronze medal in both pairs and individuals at the 2019 Nationals in San Antonio, however, his dream is to compete in the Paralympic and win gold for Team USA.

Boccia has become very important to Kalvin because it allows him to have fun traveling to competitions and meeting new people. His spirit seems to be following his favorite quote by Mary Anne Radmacher. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”

Equestrian & Alpine Skiing

Sport: Equestrian & Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Portland, ME

 

David Botana is a 17 year old competing as a Grade 1 para equestrian rider (classification for riders with the most severe disabilities). At age 15, his family moved from Indiana to Maine and this is when his desire to make it to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic team was ignited. Pursuing this dream, David has helped the U.S. Para Dressage Team medal in several events, never losing sight of his goal. David says: “Competing allows me to show myself and others how hard I work at being my best…we all have our passions, we just achieve them in different ways.”

Featured In:

Maine camp builds confidence in young amputees, gives their families support – Press Herald

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine SkiingL. Bouma 2

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

 

Leanna Bouma is a determined, caring, and adventurous 19 year old. This is made evident by her aspiration to earn a gold medal in the Paralympics. She was an athlete with Challenge Alaska Ski and Snowboard school and at 11 years old, she was one of the youngest mono skiers in Alaska and was pushing to increase her skill level to reach her dream of the Paralympics. Leanna still enjoys skiing with friends and expresses that sports are important to her because they can be challenging and provide an opportunity to stay fit.

Wheelchair Tennis

Sport: Wheelchair Tennis

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Jeremy Boyd is a goofy and passionate Alabama college student full of Crimson Pride. As he should be, with his Alabama team being named the 2019 Wheelchair Tennis National Champs, he describes joining the University of Alabama as his biggest accomplishment, thus far. Although, his accomplishments are far from over. He reveals his next pursuit is the 2024 Paralympics.

Jeremy was also presented with the 2019 Wheelchair Tennis Excellence Award which acknowledges those in the Wheelchair Tennis community for outstanding community service, on-court ability, event organization and over all promotion of wheelchair tennis. When asked what he would say to someone thinking about trying adaptive sports, he replied, “Please do it! It might change your life or save it!”

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockeynbryantusa

Hometown: Marilla, NY

 

Nathan Bryant is described as a humble, courageous, and passionate 20 year old from Marilla, NY. He expresses that sled hockey provides him with specific goals to strive for success. Those goals include making the U.S. National Team and going to the Paralympics and he is well on his way to achieving those goals. He has competed in wheelchair track and sled hockey for about 10 years. His competition resume also includes 7 trips to nationals for sled hockey (with victories in 2013 & 2017) along with competitions in Prague and Ireland for track to compete for a spot on the USA Paralympic World Junior teams.

Even in his off seasons, sports are front and center and he enjoys playing hockey with his friends in his driveway. His advice for those thinking of trying adaptive sports is, “go for it! It never hurts to try something new…You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Sled Hockey & Track and Field

Burkhart ActionSport: Sled Hockey & Track and Field

Hometown: Libertyville, IL

Ethan Burkhart is a strong, hardworking, and smart 18 year old who started competing in adaptive sports when he was nine years old with Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. He started competing with sled hockey and even though he loved the sport, Ethan began looking for an additional sport to compete in. This is when he was introduced to the world of track and field and he has never looked back. Competitive in nature, he strives to succeed at all he does.

His bucket list goal is to one day compete on a Paralympic team. On the journey to that goal, he has participated and medaled in numerous events but the one Ethan notes as his greatest accomplishment is making the 2018 Junior World Team. Competing in adaptive sports has opened him to a world of new people as well as helping him to stay strong and healthy.

 

400m race – Ethan is Lane 5 – He pulls out quickly and gets 1st – Fun to watch

Posted by Ethan Burkhart on Friday, July 27, 2018

 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing20151202_SkiSPecD2_163

Hometown: Oakdale, MN

 

Eric Byerly is a 21 year old adaptive alpine skier. He describes skiing (and sports in general) as his outlet to express himself, whether he is having a good day or a bad day. He sincerely expresses how skiing has introduced him to new friends that share in his love of the sport and says, “being around new and old friends who also have a disability make life seem a little more normal.”

Eric has dreams of one day competing in the Winter Paralympics. In order to reach that goal, he has trained with an Alpine Ski Team and has placed 1st in the 2018 Hartford Ski Spectacular Level 1 Race. He also has high aspirations academically. He is currently interning at Mortenson as a sports analytics and research intern. Eric sees his dreams and reaches for them with upbeat energy and a bold passion.

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Van, TX

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Monahans, TX

 

Zachary Carter is a funny, determined, and resilient teenager who enjoys the thrill of competition. He trains for about an hour each morning, alternating between weights, core, and arm exercises. He has competed in track & field, archery, shot put, discus, and javelin and has a dream of becoming a part of the US Paralympic Team.

Zachary competed at the USA Track & Filed Para Youth Nationals in 2017 and brought home five individual first place awards, his favorite event being the 100 meter dash. His determination and love of sports has not stopped there, in 2018 he joined his middle school’s football team. There is no doubt Zachary is living up to his favorite quote from NFL player, JJ Watt, “Success isn’t owned. It’s leased and rent is due every day!”

Featured In: 

News West 9 – Monahans athlete medals at USATF Para Youth Nationals

CBS 7 – More gold medals brought back to Monahans

Your Basin – A MONAHANS TEEN WINNING BIG AT THE NATIONAL JUNIOR PARALYMPICS

 

Goalball

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Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Orem, UT

 

Elizabeth is confident, talented, and kind athlete who excels in goalball. She says sports help her to build confidence while having fun as well as allow her to meet other amazing athletes, playing the same sport. Elizabeth has earned 2 bronze and 1 silver medal at US Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) High School Goalball National Championships and was named to the USABA All-American team from 2016-2018.

Elizabeth is also extremely gifted musically. While the piano is her favorite instrument to play, she is also skilled at performing the flute and she is currently learning the organ, saxophone, guitar, ukulele, and piccolo. Presently, she is studying music education and hopes to use all her talents to one day become a high school music teacher and band director.

Featured In: 

Finding her way — Student excels in goalball, life despite visual impairment – Daily Herald

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: West Chester, PA

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Reston, VA

Instagram: @griffin_cloyd

 

Griffin Cloyd is a 14-year-old wheelchair basketball athlete from Reston, VA. When Griffin was only nine years old he was introduced to adapted sports through an ability expo in Washington, DC. There he found the Fairfax Falcons; a Paralympic sports team that is registered with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. There he found his love for wheelchair basketball and has since made many accomplishments within the sport. One of Griffin’s major accomplishments he said, was “being a part of the East Coast Wheelchair Championship team.” Another accomplishment for Griffin was making a three-point shot in one of his basketball games. When Griffin isn’t playing basketball, you can also find him on the rink playing sled hockey.

Sports are very important to Griffin, which is why he is so involved in them. One of the aspects of sports that he really likes, is how it is a community of people that all just want to compete and accomplish goals in life. Griffin says “Being part of a team and meeting other kids like me who just want to compete has helped my confidence.” Griffin also wants those who are interested in pursuing adapted sports to know, that you don’t have to be disabled to play adapted sports. He said, “You can be able to walk and still play adapted sports.” Anyone can play adapted sports, they were created to level the playing field and include everyone.

 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Thornton, CO

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Waukee, IA

Instagram: @evancorrell

 

Evan Correll is a 16-year-old track and field student-athlete in Waukee, Iowa. When Evan was first introduced to adapted sports he was only eleven years old. Evan said he started off playing adaptive basketball, through the Rehabilitation Hospital Indiana. Since then Evans says he has moved on to racing for his high school track team through Adaptive Sports of Iowa. Evan explains adapted sports, has given him “the opportunity to use his athletic abilities, competitiveness and meet new friends!” he said.

Since starting Track and Field, Evan has gone on to achieve many great things within the sport. The first being, that Evan is a two time Iowa State Champion in Track and Field, for his freshman and sophomore years of high school. Evan has also accomplished in “achieving an All-Time and State Record” in the 100M race, with a time of 16.97 seconds. Another huge accomplishment for Evan that occurred in 2019, he says was attending Jr. Nationals for the first time and receiving a medal in both the 100M and 200M races for 17 and Under category.

Evan says he is excited for his future and the upcoming junior year because he is excited to push himself and achieve new goals. For those looking to pursue adapted sports, Evan’s advice is to “Just have fun!” but also, try out the different types of adapted sports offered to see what works best.

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Flower Mountain, TX

 

What makes Abigail tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Strong, energetic, and happy.

Why are sports important to you?

I feel a need to prove myself and sports are a great way to do that. I also enjoy participating in sports .

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

I think my biggest accomplishment was achieving MVP at a tournament in prep.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

When I go to basketball practice, we usually start by doing laps around the gym to warm up, and then do some drills for the majority of the time. Lastly, we usually scrimmage against each other and use the skills we learned/practiced that day.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I don’t have any pre-competition rituals besides warming up.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Wheelchair track and field

Who do you admire most?

I really admire Darlene Hunter the most. She is a strong, capable woman with a disability, like me.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

I would probably put going to the Paralympics one day or at least trying out for it.

What is your favorite quote?

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you might hit a star”

What is your favorite food?

Baked chicken and rice

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would tell someone who wants to try adaptive sports to go ahead and do it! Even if you’re not very good or you just don’t feel cut out for it, it’s still an amazing experience, and you get to meet so many other people with disabilities, and it’s truly AWESOME!

Paratriathlon

Sport: Paratriathlon

Hometown: Algonquin, IL

Social Media: @owen.cravens19

Owen Cravens is an intelligent, driven, and kind Paratriathlon athlete. He states that sports help him to build confidence while giving him the opportunity to excel and be part of a team. As far as pre game rituals go, before each race Owen and his race guide, Eric Robb, review the course terrain and listen to very specific playlists, depending on the competition.

In 2019, Owen came in 3rd at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships as well as taking home 1st at the 2019 Pleasant Prairie Triathlon where he had the 2nd fastest time among all the competitors. His favorite quote, “Excellence is not a skill. Excellence is an attitude,” appears to be applied to every step he takes, in every race he competes and every goal he sets.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Belleville, IL

Social Media:

Instagram = @pikachubog

YouTube= KeiraColby

Keira Cromwell is a creative, smart, and competitive young athlete. She credits adaptive sports with helping her to consistently strive to better herself and make new friends. Just three months after beginning to compete, she qualified and competed at Junior Nationals and Keira states that this is her biggest accomplishment so far. She encourages others who are thinking about trying adaptive sports, “take the chance because you never know what you can achieve!”

Keira’s determination has led her to accomplish goals off the field as well. She performed on stage as Chip from “Beauty and the Beast.” And she is involved in several volunteering opportunities including visiting the local nursing home, making homemade toys for a local animal shelter, and is an active Patient Ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children. Her bright spirit is joined by her strength to accomplish all her dreams. When asked for her favorite quote, she says, “I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”

Snowboard

image-4Sport: Snowboard

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

 

Patrick Decrescenzo is passionate, hardworking, and determined athlete. Training both morning and night to improve his skills and riding ability, his passion for sports began at a young age and have helped him to develop various life skills, including sportsmanship and teamwork. Patrick says, “adaptive sports are life-changing and by participating in an adaptive sport you can inspire other people with disabilities to do the same.”

Before each competition, he listens to music that pushes and inspires him to leave it all out on the snow that day and drives him towards his goal of competing in the Paralympics. In 2015, he was able to earn a bronze medal at Lake Placid and in 2016 he received a silver and bronze medal at The Hartford Ski Spectacular. Other accomplishments in 2016 include competing in the European Cup and World Cup. He continues to reach for his goals in racing, guided by the words “Never give up!”

Alpine Skiing

Dertinger-Joseph_2028

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Waconia, MN

Track and Field

Sport: Track and Field

Hometown: Chicago, IL

 

Simon Detmer is a humorous, curious, and determined athlete whose ambition is clearly displayed through his completive drive.  He utilizes sports (Track & Field, Rock Climbing, Skiing, and Equestrian) to build new relationships through hard work while also having fun. Giving advice to others when trying adaptive sports, he states, “Try it and give it your best shot. You are capable of far more than you can imagine.”

All his hard work and dedication appear to be paying off! Simon was selected as a MIAA track athlete of the week, was named a Paralympic track and field high school All-American in 2018, and in 2019 he was named as part of the team competing at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships. His talent and diligence keeping him moving through whatever obstacles he encounters, along the way to accomplishing his goals.

Snowboarding

Sport: Snowboarding

Hometown: Hauppauge, NY

Instagram: @tyler_divilio

Tyler Divilio is an 18-year-old Snowboard athlete from Hauppauge, New York. Tyler was first introduced to adapted sports through a friend, only a year ago. Even though it has only been a year, Evan has been able to accomplish a lot within the sport. He has been able to make Team Utah and qualify for United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) Nationals. To train for these events, Tyler says that he does stretches and then does a warmup free ride in the morning, then later in the day will run-through racing gates. All in preparation to succeed in that day’s event.

Sports for Tyler are very important, he says that “snowboarding allows me to feel free and equal to everyone else on the mountain.” Tyler explains, that when he snowboards he is able to keep up with everyone and that no one can tell that he has a disability. Tyler also says “each time I snowboard I can see myself improving and getting faster and stronger every day.”

An athlete that Tyler admires most is Noah Elliot, who happens to be one of the first para-athletes that Tyler met. Tyler explains that Noah spent a lot of time with him, helping him go over tips to help improve his snowboarding. Also, Tyler acknowledges and admires that Noah is someone who enjoys sharing their story on how they became a para-athlete.

When Tyler isn’t snowboarding, he can still be found outside mountain biking, boating, or quading (an-all terrain vehicle). It’s very clear that Tyler is an active person and has dabbled in many outdoor sports, with snowboarding as the frontrunner. For those who are looking to pursue adapted sports like Tyler, his advice is “Do it,” he says, “It’s worth it!”

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Social Media: @lera_0415

Valeria is a strong-willed, determined, and positive young athlete who does not let anything get in the way of her dreams. She credits sports with helping to develop her into the person she is today, empowering Lera to believe in herself and teach her that she is capable of anything, never allowing disability into her vocabulary.

Her ambition to reach the Women’s National sled hockey team and win a gold medal is becoming more of a reality than a dream; as she has been named to the 2019-20 U.S. Women’s development sled hockey team. She was also named as an honorary 21st duck, for the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. When asked what she would say to someone thinking about trying adaptive sports, she said: “It’s a great way to find your hobbies and make incredible friends in a great community.”

Ability 360: Lera Doederlein

NHL: Double Amputee Presented with Grant, Sled on NHL Network

Scotisdale Independent: Sonoran Trails Student Receives Grant, Custom Hockey Sled

Highland News: Para-cyclists Go for the Gold at Redland’s Bicycle Classic

Redland Classic: Para-cycling Racer, Pinney Sprints to Victor in Redlands Criterium

Goalball

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Vancouver, WA

Track & Field

Sport: Track and Field

Hometown: Grayslake, IL

 

Brannon is a determined, focused, and hardworking young athlete. Playing sports allows him to have fun as well as do what he enjoys to stay active. On a typical day he will run 10-12 laps for training and emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated with plenty of rest.

He states his biggest accomplishment being when he participated in the Chicago International 5k but his goals don’t stop there. Looking up to Christian Clemmons, who medaled in the 2017 Paralympics and is also from the state of Illinois, Brannon has added winning a couple medals for Team USA in the Paralympics to his bucket list. Brannon is living his life by his favorite quote: “There is nothing impossible to him who will try” by Alexander the Great.

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Concord, NH

 

Abby is a persistent, fun, and resilient young alpine skier. She has been skiing for a few years now and is becoming more comfortable with her skis. Her mantra for encouraging others is, “Do it! There is no typical day, every day is a new adventure.”

She is part of a national adaptive ski team and has competed with her high school alpine ski team. All of this hard work brings her one step closer to her dream of competing in the Paralympics with her father as her guide. Her biggest accomplishment so far, is placing 42nd out of 89 racers in the NH finals.

Discovering a Passion for Skiing While Legally Blind – Abby and Chris Duffy

Fully Equipped: Being Blind Hasn’t Kept Concord High’s Abby Duffy off the Slopes

Alpine Skiing

Screenshot-112

Sport: Alpine Ski

Hometown: Moorhead, MN

 

Brynn Duncan is a spontaneous, confident, and friendly athlete who found adaptive sports when she was only eight years old and has kept building her skills and abilities ever since. She clearly states that “sports keep me active, healthy and I am able to compete with others at my same ability. Sports are liberating!”

Brynn lists being chosen for the USA Women’s Sledge Hockey Team and the US Ski Team as her biggest accomplishments. In 2016 she earned a spot on the Team USA sled hockey team and played with them for 2 years. She is currently a member of the US Para alpine skiing team; working towards her goal of competing in 2022 at the Beijing Olympics.

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Mill Creek, WA

Instagram: @jake.eastwood

 

Jake Eastwood is a 17-year-old Wheelchair Basketball athlete in Mill Creek, Washington. Jake has always been someone to be involved in competitive sports, and after his amputation, this didn’t change. After trying out different types of adaptive sports Jake found his match, Wheelchair Basketball. “It was an adaptive sport clinic at Nike that I was introduced to wheelchair basketball and the Seattle Sonics. I loved it ever since!” Jake said.

Jake was 13 when he first started Wheelchair Basketball and ever since Jake has been able to grow and achieve within the sport. Jake said his top three accomplishments have been “Winning West Coast Championships, being in the top 16 in the country two years in a row, and winning All-Tournament Team at West Coast Championships.”

Jake explained that wheelchair basketball and sports, in general, allow him to meet people and show his competitive side. In Jakes offseason he says, he likes to hit the gym, hang out with friends and shoot around with teammates.

When asked on giving advice to an athlete interested in adapted sports Jake said, “To just give it a chance, even if you don’t want to at first.” He continues, “You never know, it could be something you end up loving…that’s what happened to me.”

 

 

 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Proctor, MN

 

Blake Eaton is a determined and competitive athlete who has a love for skiing that started at the young age of four. Skiing with his family was something they could all do together. Blake has progressed to now racing on a mono ski and names his biggest accomplishment as the race camp he attended at Spirit Mountain because, “It allows me to show my competitiveness.”

Blake’s daily training includes weight lifting, walking in his RGO, and cooling down with stretching his legs, using his leg immobilizer. “Practice hard and play harder!” He has set his sights, on a goal, of skiing on a mountain overseas and hopes to one day race at the Paralympics.

Featured In:

14th Annual Great Lake Mono-Ski Camp hits Spirit Mountain – KBJR 6

Paratriathlon

Sport: Paratriathlon

Hometown: Tolono, IL

 

 

USA Para Triathlon announces development roster

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Basketball

Sport: BasketballJ. Emery 2

Hometown: Corcoran, MN

 

Justas is a funny, hardworking, and caring wheelchair basketball athlete. However, he also has the desire to one day play football as well. Sports are important to him because they give him the chance to play with his brothers and other kids and stay active. When encouraging others to try adaptive sports he says, “Do it. It’s fun.”

Goalball

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Portland, OR

Wheelchair Tennis

Sport: Wheelchair Tennis

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Instagram: @hannah_exline

 

Hannah Exline is a 16-year-old Wheelchair Tennis athlete from Indianapolis, Indiana with a goal to hopefully one day play in the Paralympics. Hannah’s first experience with adapted sports was when she was only seven years old, she started out with wheelchair basketball through a local adaptive sports organization. Hannah says adapted sports has helped her keep healthy and active. She especially loves the community and the friends she has met throughout adaptive sports.

Through adapted sports, Hannah has been able to enjoy both basketball and tennis and has made some great achievements between sports. Hannah says at the National Basketball Tournament, she was able to make the girls All-Tournament team three years in a row. Then on her high school’s tennis team this year she played against both wheelchair and stand-up competition.

For Hannah, there isn’t much of an offseason, and she doesn’t seem to mind it because she loves to play basketball and tennis year-round. Hannah explained she initially didn’t think she would like tennis, “but now I love it,” She said.  For those looking into adapted sports, Hannah believes that anyone trying should, “Stick with it” and “Don’t be afraid to try new things.”

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Eagan, MN

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Norwell, MA

Catherine Faherty is a competitive athlete and points out the importance of sports in helping her build friendships and learn valuable life lessons. If someone was thinking of trying adaptive sports, she says, “because of adaptive sports I have been given many opportunities that I would not have otherwise had.”

She shares, her biggest accomplishment as making the starting lineup of RMF wheelchair basketball team in her first year, an impressive feat! Equally notable are her other accomplishments in adaptive sports. In 2016, at Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals, she place 1st in seven swimming events and in 2019, she won the George McLaughlin Award that recognizes competitive athletes with disabilities. She is also in her second year on the Women’s Development Sled Hockey Team for Team USA. Catherine continues to aim high, with dreams of one day competing at the Paralympic Games.

 

Featured:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5QDQUD_9Bk
Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: New Albany, Ohio

Twitter: @mfenster13

 

Michael Fenster is a 20-year-old track and field athlete from New Albany, Ohio who has a goal of one day completing a marathon in all 50 states. When Michael was first introduced to sports he was only 18 months, he says his parents took him just to see what Sled Hockey was all about, once he was introduced, he said: “I fell in love sports immediately.”

Since his first encounter with adapted sports, he has gone onto falling in love with Track and Field. When Michael was in high school he was able to win seven State Championships in track and field. After high school, Michael moved onto the University of Illinois class of ’22 and competes on the University’s Wheelchair Track and Road Racing team. While doing track and field, he also was able to complete his first marathon in 2018.

Sports to Michael are very important to him he says “Sports have defined who I am as a person.” Michael goes on to continue that adapted sports, “also provide me with unique opportunities and lifelong connections,” he said. In Michael’s off-season, when he isn’t still training for track, he says, “I love to get on the ice and coach the youth sled hockey team in my hometown.” For those who are interested in pursuing adapted sports, Michael explains that no matter how hard something may seem, keep going. He goes on to continue, how there is nothing “harder than explaining to people that you gave up,” he said. Clarifying that everyone should keep trying, no matter the struggle. 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Centennial, CO

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Ashland, OR

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Owings Mills, MD

What makes Aiden tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Competitive, Kind, Passionate

Why are sports important to you?

Because they are fun and teach you life lessons like teamwork and having a good work ethic. Also they allow you to meet a lot of great people

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

23rd place finish at nationals

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

1 hour of swimming, 1 hour of weight training, 2 hour practice

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Listening to music

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Playing outside with people from my neighborhood

Who do you admire most?

Daniel Romanchuck

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Play college wheelchair basketball

What is your favorite quote?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky

What is your favorite food?

Pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

You should definitely come try it out. It’s a lot of fun

Snowboard

Sport: Snowboard

Hometown: Campbellsville, KY

Swimming

 

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Foxfield, CO

 

Lauren Gates is a dedicated and competitive athlete who welcomes the challenge that comes along with competition. She has no off season, training for swimming competitions all year long as well as training for track and field in the spring. Her bucket list goal is to compete in Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and has already paved a path reaching for that goal.

In 2015 she competed at the IWAS Junior World Championships and won a silver medal in the long jump and in 2016 she received a bronze medal for long jump at the U.S. Trials for Rio. It was in 2017 she decided to leave track and field to pursue a career in swimming and in 2018 she earned a Gold medal for the 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke competing at IWAS. She is currently attending CU Boulder, and while she stills swims recreationally, she has taken up the sport of bouldering.

Featured In:

International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation

Cycling

Sport: Cycling

Hometown: Champaign, IL

Instagram: @joeygibbs7

 

Joey Gibbs is a 23-year-old Cycling athlete in Champaign, Illinois. Joey started his adapted sports career when he was sixteen, Joey said it was his high school cross country coach that told him about adaptive track. Since then Jake has grown and achieved in Cycling. One accomplishment he has made over the years was getting a 1:39 marathon time. Joey has also been invited to the New York Marathon and qualifying for the Boston Marathon, due to his achievements in cycling. Joey believes sports like cycling are important because they are “a way to meet new people, stay disciplined, and stay in good shape.”

Someone Joey admires is his roommate Daniel Romanchuk, who also happens to be an American Paralympian; primarily wheelchair racing events. Joey says that he has been able to see the dedication and work that Daniel has put into achieving his goals, and the amazing outcome it has brought him.

Sports are important to Joey because it is “also an outlet to encourage other people who have disabilities that their life isn’t over and there are things out there that they can still do,” he said. Joey’s advice to those who are looking to peruse adapted sports is to “trust the process, one of the hardest things to do…” Joey continues, “But the view is worth it when you are at the top.”

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Yorktown, VA

Social Media: Instagram and Twitter = @jwheels_1

Jakob Gorton is humble and persistent athlete who enjoys connecting with friends through playing sports, especially wheelchair basketball, which he says helps to keep him in shape. Whether he is going to the gym to shoot some hoops or hitting the weight room at school, he is strengthening his skills and abilities.

Jakob credits his parents as who he admires most because all they have done for him, including helping him to reach his biggest accomplishment as of yet; competing in the 2016 NWBA Varsity NIT Championship. Jakob has dreams of continuing wheelchair basketball into college or playing professionally in the future.

Cross-Country Skiing

Sport: Cross-Country Skiing

Hometown: Palmer, AK

 

What makes Helena Grace tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Focused, interesting, humorous

Why are sports important to you?
Sports give me a sense of calm

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Skiing in the World Cup races

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Listening to the music to help focus

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Strength and Cardio

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Rollerskiing

Who do you admire most?
Jessie Diggins

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Norway

What is your favorite quote:
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

What is your favorite food?

Phad Thai

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
I never regret going out for a ski. I only regret the days that I don’t

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Owings Mills, MD

What makes Aiden tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind, passionate, committed

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Have won 4 sled hockey A division junior national championships, have placed 19th at junior wheelchair basketball nationals

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Practice for 2 hrs of each sport, swimming for an hour, weights training for an hour

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Listen to music to get me in the zone

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Play sports with friend

Who do you admire most?

Daniel Romanchuck because he came from my program and is now very successful in track

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Play wheelchair basketball in college

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Alpharetta, GA

 

Cathryn Gray is a motivated, disciplined, and kind athlete. She strongly believes that adaptive sports have put a focus on her abilities rather than the challenges she has in life. Sports have help build up her confidence, make new friends, and open doors to travel around the U.S. She encourages others to try adaptive sports by saying, “Do it today! Don’t wait for a new season, a new year, a new day. You won’t regret the decision and it may likely change your life!”

One dream she is aiming for is to compete in track and field at the college level. Along that path, she has already earned three bronze medals at the World CP Games and set national records in Javelin and Discus at Adaptive Sports USA Jr. Nationals. She has also been named a 2017 US Paralympic High School All American in Track and Field. In 2019, she continued this level of success, by earning three Georgia State Titles.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Waterville, OH

 

Aiden Green is a 16-year-old track and field athlete from Waterville, Ohio. Aiden was first introduced to adapted sports when he was only nine years, he started out with sled hockey then, later on, began track and field. Sports to Aiden are very important he says “they give me an avenue to compete for my high school, and to be a part of my school.” Track and field has brought some major accomplishments to Aiden’s life.

The first accomplishment was when he became the 2019 State Champion for the Ohio High School Athletic Association 100M Seated race. As well as winning “NLL Regional Track and the Field Champion 2019,” he said. Along with his athleticism in track and field, Aiden also does Sled Hockey. Aiden was a NESHL (New England Senior Hockey League) Sled Hockey Champion in 2017, he said he also attended a Sled select camp for USA Hockey.

Even though there doesn’t seem to be much of an offseason for sports with Aiden, in his free time Aiden likes to play basketball, street hockey, and swim. Aiden’s advice for those who are looking to peruse adapted sports is to just “Do it! It will change your life!” 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Ski

Hometown: Waterbury Center, VT

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Westwood, MA

Joseph Grindrod is athletic, funny, and unique sled hockey player. He values the importance of sports because they allow him to stay active and connect him to other athletes. Before games you can find him getting his teammates motivated and ready for the game. His goal is to win a championship with his team and he is working hard practicing drills to make his dream a reality. He inspires others to try adaptive sports with the encouraging words of, “Just go for it!”

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Sammamish, WA

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Instagram: @zgrover7

 

Zachary Grover is a 15-year-old hardworking Sled Hockey athlete in San Diego, California. Zachary first started his involvement in adapted through an adaptive sports camp in his hometown, when he was six years old. Since then he has found his passion for sled hockey and has been able to grow and achieve within the sport in many ways.

In 2018 Zachary said he was runner up at Tier III Sled Hockey National Championships and then the following year 2019, his team actually won the Tier III Championships. Leading up to big events like these, a lot of practice goes in prior. Typical practice for Zachary, contains “stretching, riding my bike, working on stick handling and shooting,” he said.  Sports to Zachary are very important to him, he says sports “give you a second family that you go through thick and thin with.”

When Zachary isn’t playing sled hockey, you can find him hanging with his friends and family, playing ping-pong, or going to a sporting event to watch. He says he would really like to go watch the Stanley cup playoff one day. For those looking to pursue adapted sports, Zachary’s advice is to “Try as many as you can…” he says, “You will eventually find one you love.”  

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball
Hometown: Bourbonnais, IL
Instagram: @guiney_mike

 

Michael Guiney is a 16-year-old wheelchair basketball player from Bourbonnais, Illinois. When Michael first started adapted sports he was 13, it was an adaptive archery program his dad found that started his involvement. Michael would later find that wheelchair basketball would be another passion for him and one of the sports he excels in. Some of Michael’s major achievements have involved wheelchair basketball.

In Michaels first year of playing basketball, his team won 3rd place in Nationals. More recently his team was able to place 2nd at the wheelchair basketball State Competition. When training for games Michael says a typical day contains, “2 or more hours of practice; shooting drills, chair skills, conditioning,” he said. Although basketball is one of Michael’s main sports, he has also dabbled with archery and has recently set a new IL record for adaptive archery. Even though there doesn’t seem to be an offseason for Michael, when he is in his off-season his favorite activity to do is hunting.

Sports are very important for Michael and how he lives his life, he says “Sports give me a purpose.” Michael wants those who are thinking about trying adaptive sports to know that “it’s fun!’ he said, and “You’ll wish you would’ve tried it sooner!”

 

 

 

Basketball

FB_IMG_1487773521230Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Vernon Center, MN

 

Aidan Gravelle is a smart, athletic, and determined athlete. Sports help to keep Aidan motivated and he truly enjoys working with a team, made evident by the two hour drive him and his family make so he can practice and compete with his team. He admires his parent’s dedication and encouragement as he continues to chase his dreams. He practices hard, running drills, learning skills and scrimmaging.

Aidan names his biggest accomplishment as his wheelchair basketball team making it to the 2017 NWBA National Tournament. Although, he has accomplished a few more goals since then including a gold medal in the 200m and discus competitions and a silver in the 100m at the MSHSL State Track and Field Championships in 2019. He is also recognized for competing in the Grandma’s marathon and qualified for the Boston marathon. Aidan continues to chase his dream of one day becoming a Paralympian.

  • Featured In: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXiBOboUFQE
Nordic Skiing

Sport: Nordic Skiing

Hometown: Anchor Point, AK

Angelica Haakenson is funny, loyal, and persistent. She enjoys sports because they keep her active, healthy, and contribute to her overall wellbeing. Even in times of not feeling well, she keeps going to accomplish the goals she has set for herself. Her friend and teammate, Katia, helps to encourage and motivate Angelica to always do her best. Her favorite quote helps to keep her motivated is, “You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.”

Training for Angelica usually lasts approximately two hours, and can consist of sprint races, skiing around the loop and biathlon training. In addition to her skiing, she has been competing in track and field competitions. She enjoys the challenge and has improved her times in 100m, Shot Put, and Discus, in 2019. In the off season, Angelica will add swimming to the mix, to keep her active.

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Owatonna, MN

Social Media: @swimEmilyKate

What makes Emily tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind, funny, friendly

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are my physical therapy. I also just enjoy being in the water. I also appreciate the opportunities to travel that I have had, especially to New Jersey and Spain.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Diving off the block in swimming

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Heel cord stretches and other stretches in the morning followed by swim practice, either morning or evening. About once a week I practice Taekwondo in place of swimming. I also lift weights two days a week as much of the year as I can.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Swim however many times across the pool I need

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Marching Band & Taekwondo

Who do you admire most?

My mom

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Going to Disney World and Harry Potter World

What is your favorite quote?

It only hurts for a little while, you can always breathe later

What is your favorite food?

Pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Don’t judge something before you even try it.

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey1933246_10153652896560861_6425782225221737883_o

Hometown: Ada, OH

 

What makes Theo tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Awesome, intelligent, courteous

Why are sports important to you?
I like to be actively competitive and have fun.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Being invited to play internationally at the Intermediate C level

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
On-ice practice is 1-2 hours every Sunday. Off-ice practice is 30 minutes everyday.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
No, just get my gear on and help my team to the best of my ability all of the time.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Marching Band, inspecting racecars with SCCA

Who do you admire most?
Neil deGrasse Tyson

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Tour the Ferrari Factory in Maranello Italy

What is your favorite quote:
“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” Oscar Wilde

What is your favorite food?

Chocolate Ice cream

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Whether you end up competing at a high level or not, staying physically active and being around people who understand your abilities is encouraging.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Aurora, CO

 

What makes Garrison tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Active, fun, friendly

Why are sports important to you?
I enjoy the self-confidence I develop through participating in sports

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Men’s National record holder in the Javelin F42 class

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Drink lots of water

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
A morning workout for speed development and core strengthening and and evening workout lifting weights, running or throwing

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Mountain biking

Who do you admire most?
My brother

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Alpine skiing in the Alps

What is your favorite quote:
Do what you can with what you have

What is your favorite food?

Pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Try to do things today that you were not able to do yesterday

Snowboard

Sport: Snowboardizr

Hometown: Centerville, UT

 

What makes Izy tick?

Why are sports important to you?
It’s a place to have fun and belong.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
HIIT Workouts, Running,Snowboarding 

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Prayer, then a run

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Water polo

Who do you admire most?
Nicole Roundy, Paralympic Snowboarder

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
To compete in the 2022 Paralympics

What is your favorite food?
Sandwiches

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Adaptive sports is amazing, it can give the experiences you never thought were possible. You wont regret it.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Adams, NY

Instagram & Snapchat: @elisebageese

 

Elise Hill is a 15-year-old track and field athlete who lives in Adams, New York. Elise is a new up and coming athlete, who just started adapted sports last year, but has already made a big imprint on the disabled sports community of New York. It all began when her coach asked her if she would want to join her high school’s Varsity Track & Field team. Elise explained that after her coach asked her to join, a family friend connected her to “Coach Jimmy Cueva’s with the North Jersey Navigators Paralympic training club to try out a racing chair.” In January 2019, she met Coach Cueva’s in New Jersey and there she was offered an opportunity to participate in the Tri-State Regional swim meet at Rutgers University in March 2019. Elise took the opportunity and since then, she said she has been able to train and participate in events with North Jersey Navigators and is now an official member.

Elise has also earned some major credit in New York, for being the first female athlete to win gold for the New York State Championship 100m dash and wheelchair division shotput event. She has also had opportunities to travel out of New York to Prairie, Minnesota for the 2019 Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals, where she says she placed in some of the events. Sports for Elise are very important to her she said, “They keep me active, they give me a chance to meet new people who become friends, and they allow me the experience of being a part of a team.”

Elise believes that as one of the few females in New York involved in adaptive sports, her participation will help bring hope to little girls with disabilities, showing that they too can participate in sports. Which is why her one life motto and advice for those who are looking to try adapted sports, is to “push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.” She said, “I never thought I would be able to play these sports with my disability, but anything is possible if you try your hardest.”

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Durham, NC

Swimming

Sport: Swimming 

Hometown: Aurora, Illinois

What makes Marshall tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Determined. Optimistic. Funny

Why are sports important to you?

There are multiple reasons that sports are important to me. First, I am able to be a part of a team that has a common goal. There is a great reward to me in being a part of that common goal. Also being a part of a sports team provides me with the opportunity to work out regularly and maintain good health. I also really enjoy the thrill of competition.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

I won the national title in the S8 50 meter freestyle and the S8 100 meter freestyle at the U.S. Paralympics National Para Swimming Championships in December in Oro Valley, Arizona. I am also the 2019 State of Illinois High School AWD State Champion in 100 yard and 200 yard freestyle. I am a high school varsity swimmer who helped contribute points in our state championship resulting in a first place win for our high school team for the combined swimming and diving state championship for my school.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

2 hours of pool work with an hour of dry land work.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Talking through my events and imaging lower times

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Traveling with and being with my family.

Who do you admire most?

My Mom. Her love and support for me is what has helped me get to where I am today.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Seeing a launch of a space mission at NASA in person.

What is your favorite quote?

“You have to expect things from yourself before you can do them” Michael Jordan

What is your favorite food?

Cinnamon Rolls and Pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would tell them that they would be welcomed with open arms and that their participation is a victory over their disability.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & FieldA. Holzmueller (2)

Hometown: Evanston, IL

 

What makes Aaron tick?

Why are sports important to you?
Running is the most important sport to me, because my brother and my dad both run, so I grew up highly influenced by them. We still all run together sometimes.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Off season? What’s that?! I run cross country, swim, and run track, so I don’t have many breaks. In my free time, I read a lot of books, and watch a lot of college and professional sports.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
If you think you can do something, you should always try. You never know what you might like!

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I’d really like to travel, I’d especially like to visit the United Kingdom/Great Britain.

What is your favorite quote:
“You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” Winston Churchill

What is your favorite food?
Pizza

Goalball

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Lakeland, FL

What makes Lukas tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Confident, Humble, and Ambitious

Why are sports important to you?

I enjoy the diversity in different sports. I like learning different strategies and progressing to learn more skills. I look forward to practicing and working with a team.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

So far, being apart of the Florida United Men’s team.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Learning new techniques and practicing blocking against different types of throws.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I eat snacks. I love my slim jims and listen to music.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Cheerleading and bike riding

Who do you admire most?

I admire how the goalball teams work together. It’s all about the team work.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Sky diving

What is your favorite quote?

Wayne Gretzky. You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

What is your favorite food?

Chicken Wings

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Shoot their shot and just give it a try.

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing20151202_SkiSPecD2_381

Hometown: Durango, CO

 

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Track & Field

17202825_10154950867107936_933549227734905534_nSport: Track & Field

Hometown: Boise, ID

 

Featured In;

5A Dist. Three track and field tournament – Idaho Statesman

Shooting

Sport: ShootingIMG_3741

Hometown: Mullen, NE

 

What makes Gracie tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Kind, Thoughtful, Competitive

Why are sports important to you?
Because you get to have fun and meet new people.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Placing 3rd at the 2016 Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match in Rogers, AR.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Right now it looks like every other day, just with a couple of hours of practice.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Listening to music.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Hanging out with friends and family, and drawing.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Visiting Yellowstone National Park.

What is your favorite quote:
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Phillipians 4:13-

What is your favorite food?
Anything and everything.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
I would say to definitely do it. There is nothing holding you back.

Featured In:

Junior Olympic & World Champs Opportunity Awaits 763 Young Athletes – USA Shooting

Shooting straight – The North Platte Telegraph

Nebraska One on target late to take title – Go Outdoors NE

Aimed at glory – The North Platte Telegraph

Basketball

Sport: BasketballIMG_7051

Hometown: Spokane, WA

 

What makes Michael tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Sporty humorous musical

Why are sports important to you?
They keep me active and focused

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Won state sophomore year

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
I do morning exercises and weights during the day and my seasonal sports basket and track

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Pep talks from teammates. Reminded to stay calm every single game.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Long boarding with crutches, arena football games, adaptive snowboarding

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Get a tattoo to represent family (my brother Aidan)

What is your favorite quote:
No guts no glory no legend no story
What is your favorite food?
Burgers

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
GO FOR IT!!!!

Wheelchair Fencing

Sport: Wheelchair Fencing

Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY

Social Media: Instagram=victoria.isaacson.usafencing

What makes Victoria tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Dedicated, ambitious, head-strong

Why are sports important to you?

Gives me a reason to be active and something to work towards.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Silver Medal at Zonals and Top 30 at Pisa World Cup

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I go to school and attend lecture. Between lectures I complete assignments and study for classes. Then depending on the day I either go to the gym, fencing, ride horses, or some combo of both.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I have to listen to music while putting all my tape and muscle creams on.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

There is an off-season? When I have a little more time during the summer I work with rescue horses and ride.

Who do you admire most?

My teammate Ellen Geddes because she is doing so many thing in fencing and with horses while being disabled and that is so very inspiring to me.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Go scuba diving with the whale sharks in Mexico during their migration.

What is your favorite quote?

Don’t stop when your’e tired. Stop when your’e done.

What is your favorite food?

Rice bowls.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Absolutely do it, don’t give up on an active life.

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Hoover, AL

Social Media: #gojian

What makes Jian tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Organized, independent, determined

Why are sports important to you?

Sports help me to stay active, to reduce stress and to forget about my worries.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

I recently earned the Most Improved Award from my coaches.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I prefer to practice against others to get better. I also do some shooting on my own. I cross train with Track and Field and CrossFit.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I don’t really have any rituals. I just focus on having fun and doing my best.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Swimming and horseback riding

Who do you admire most?

My mom

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

To go back to China

What is your favorite quote?

“Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is your favorite food?

Noodles!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would wish them good luck.

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Brooklyn Park, MN

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Kingwood, TX

Facebook: @ Jacob Allen

Valera Jacob Allen is a competitive high school athlete on the Track and Field team at his school in Kingwood, Texas. Jacob has hopes to one day participate in the Olympics, as he is very passionate about Track and Field.

Jacob’s main training consists of his track classes in high school, which includes weight lifting, working out on the track, and throwing shot put.

These training activities helped him achieve one of his biggest accomplishments in Track and Field; winning gold at the 2018 Texas High School State Track meet.

For Jacob, sports are his form of outlet and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in sports, and adaptive sports help make that possible.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Track & Field

Sport: Track and Field

Hometown: Carol Stream, IL

Social Media: 

Twitter: @FastTimJenkins Facebook: Mzee Tim Jenkins Jr.

 

What makes Timothy tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Fast, funny, thoughtful

Why are sports important to you?

Sports guide me to my future

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Won Junior National long jump

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

6 nutritious meals a day. 1 hour in gym and/or running

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Sleep

Who do you admire most?

David Emong

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

See a World Cup game

What is your favorite quote?

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom”

What is your favorite food?

Steak

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Try it. Its always good to try

Fencing

Sport: Wheelchair Fencing

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Instagram: @shelby.jensen

 

Shelby Jensen is a Move United Elite Team athlete who is actively training for the Paralympics in fencing. In February of 2019, Shelby received the Bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in Dubai. She then went on to receive her third Gold medal in April 2019 at the USA National Championship. To prepare for these big moments Shelby practices four days a week, with her coach and fellow fencers, while also keeping up her practices at home on her own time.

Shelby says fencing keeps her active and more aware of her heath, its great therapy both physically and mentally. “I’m ready. I’m prepared. I’m strong. I’m a champion,” is one of Shelby’s favorite quotes to live by.

For Shelby, there isn’t much of an offseason for fencing, but in her free time, she likes to do other activities like biking and reading. She also stays busy taking online classes at Salt Lake Community College in hopes to pursue a future career as a nutritionist or dietician. “I love food and I love experimenting with food, so anything in the food and sports industry would be one of my go-to’s, she said.”

Shelby is very passionate about fencing, and she strives to help Wheelchair Fencing grow and encourages people to try the sport out. Shelby also encourages anyone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports to “Do it! There are so many options don’t let anything limit you!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basketball

Sport: BasketballJ. Joines 2

Hometown: Kennesaw, GA

 

What makes Joshua tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Hard-working, fun, intelligent

Why are sports important to you?
I love being competitive and playing sports pushes me to be my best on and off the court

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Hanging out with my friends

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
You will never know the positive impact of adaptive sports unless you try it! So, just go for it!

Who do you admire most?
Military veterans.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Traveling throughout Europe

What is your favorite quote:
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do

What is your favorite food?

Nachos with guacamole

Alpine Skiing

 Jordan-Lexie_2963Sport: Alpine Skiing

Guide: Liam Jordan

Hometown: North Salem, NY

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

 

What makes Renato tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Athletic, silly, friendly

Why are sports important to you?

It helps me be a more proactive in life, become more productive while playing with others

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Breaking my PR in every track event last year

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Training with my teammates and with a Paralympian track racer

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

yes

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Tennis

Who do you admire most?

Josh Roberts

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

WIn a gold medal in the Paralympics

What is your favorite quote?

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude”

What is your favorite food?

Lentils and Lamb

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Come see what we do and see if you like it. That’s how I started and I never stop playing.

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Westlake Village, CA

 

What makes Maya tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Persistant. strong. compassionate.

Why are sports important to you?
Swimming keeps me in a healthy mental state of mind and body.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Receiving a $500 award from Positive Athlete GA and the Triumph of the Human Spirit award

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Waking up, going to school, going to practice, coming home, doing homework, going to sleep

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Listening to music, meditation and getting a pep talk from my coach

What is your favorite off-season activity?
soccer, cooking/baking, playing with my pets and hanging out with my family.

Who do you admire most?
My mother

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Move back to California permanently

What is your favorite quote:
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

What is your favorite food?

Doughnuts

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
GO FOR IT. Because just maybe you’ll end up falling in love with it like I have.

Featured In:

A Swimmer With Special Fortitude – Patch.com

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Lutz, FL

 

Danielle Kanas is a 14-year-old, track and field athlete from Lutz, Florida with dreams to one day compete in the Paralympics. Since starting track and field Danielle has won several medals at multiple regional sports competitions and has been able to set national records in her age group. Even though Danielle is succeeding in her sport she is always working to be better. A typical day of training for Danielle contains warm-ups and throwing rotations; from standing to active throws. Danielle explains that her coach will help her out by providing information and advice on what she is doing well and what could be better. After all of this, she explains that they would then finish the training with a warm down.

Sports in general and track and field especially, are very important to Danielle’s life. Danielle says, “Sports have helped me become more confident and it helps me show that I’m just as good as someone with no disabilities.” Someone who also has a disability but doesn’t let that stop them from achieving in life is Shaquem Griffin. Shaquem Griffin is a linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks in the National Football League (NFL), and someone Danielle says she admires a lot. Shaquem is also disabled in the fact he has only one hand, but that doesn’t stop him from playing his absolute hardest on the field. Danielle says one of her favorite quotes by Shaquem is, “Please don’t tell me what I can’t do.”

The inspiration that Shaquem gives Danielle, is the same inspiration someone can see in Danielle’s achievements. We asked Danielle what she would say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports. Danielle said, “I would tell them that no matter what people say, or how hard it is, always keep trying and don’t give up…” Danielle continues, “Adaptive sports will help you show off what you can do.”

 

For more information about Danielle Kanas, you can find her as the main feature for Disabled Sports USA’s Challenge Fall 2019 issue. 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Bellevue, ID

What makes Jesse tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

funny, outgoing, adventurous

Why are sports important to you?

because it makes me feel good and making new friends, I like to challenge myself

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Getting 6th in para alpine nationals for my first para alpine race this year

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Gym 3 days a week and the rest is race training 6 days a week

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Blast a random song to get the team pumped up

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Mountain biking

Who do you admire most?

Santiago Vega

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Go on a week long ski trip in the Alps

What is your favorite quote?

ski fast

What is your favorite food?

pasta

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go with what you want to do no matter what others say

Snowboarding

Sport: Snowboarding

Hometown: Westfield, NJ

 

What makes Wil tick? 

Describe yourself in three words.

Competitive, kind and strong

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are fun for me and give me a break from school

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

My team gold at SkiSpec in Breckinridge this past year

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Getting on the snow early and doing alot of runs trying to improve each run

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Not really!

What is your favorite off-season activity?

playing lacrosse, basketball and football with friends

Who do you admire most?

Kobe Bryant because I like his work ethic

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Traveling around Europe

What is your favorite quote?

The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing!

What is your favorite food?

Lobster

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go for it – keep going – and don’t look back

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Chesterfield, MO

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Waitsfield, VT

 

What makes Jakob tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Resilient, committed, passionate

Why are sports important to you?
It gives me a sense of belonging

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
I was nominated to go to the USA developement camp

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
I skate three times a week and I have to keep good grades at school

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Biking

Who do you admire most?
Bryan Bathalon and Josh Pauls

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I want to go to the Paralympics

What is your favorite quote:
In my favorite movie Miracle  on Ice the coach said “when you pull on that jersey, the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.” And that is my favorite quote.

What is your favorite food?

Steak

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Adaptive sports has helped me become a better person and have me new experiences

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Bemidji, MN

 

Chloe Kirkpatrick is a 15-year-old Sled Hockey athlete that lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. Chloe first began her journey with adaptive sports five years ago at the age of 10. Chloe says it was her grandfather who initiated her love for sled hockey. He was the one who found an adaptive hockey camp for her to participate in, and since that day Chloe says it has been “all sled hockey after that.”

After attending the sled hockey camp, Chloe has been able to accomplish a lot within the sport. One of Chloe’s big accomplishments has been winning the Youth A National Championship. Chloe has also been invited to the USA Sled Hockey Select Camp and had the opportunity to work with Paralympians and feel a part of the USA National Women’s Sled Hockey Team. Another highlight for Chloe was earning the chance to play against a Russian Youth Sled Hockey team, at the first international Sled Hockey Tournament in Michigan.

Sports to Chloe are important because it keeps her healthy, fit and feeling strong, she says. Chloe explains that she also just likes how she is able to interact and play sports with her peers. For those who are looking to pursue adapted sports, Chloe’s advice is to “Have lots of fun. If you aren’t having fun your skills won’t improve,” she said. Chloe mentions that staying competitive is a necessary tactic as well.

Triathlon

Sport: Triathlon

Hometown: Bethel Park, PA

What makes Brock tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Smart, Athletic, Determined

Why are sports important to you?

To keep physically active and I enjoy them

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Placing 2nd at the 2018 Youth Nationals Event

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I leave school and walk to the YMCA where I swim, run and bike and get in some core and cardio Monday through Friday.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Eating Chef Boyardee

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Blind Ice Hockey

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

To attend the Paralympics

What is your favorite food?

Chicken Fried Rice

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

“Give it a shot. If you like it, great, you found a new hobby, if you don’t like it, at least you tried.”

Bethel Park Youth Already a Pro at Triathlons

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Metairie, LA

Rowing

Sport: Rowing

Hometown: Seattle, WA

What makes Megan tick?

 

Why are sports important to you?

The allow me to be active even after my injury.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

I complete in my first dingles race this summer.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

2-2.5 hour training session including a warmup, interval training and a race piece.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

None besides stretching and checking the straps on my seat.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

I love swimming because I feel strong in the water.

Who do you admire most?

Tatyana McFadden

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

To perform an adaptive kayak trip through Glenn Canyon in AZ.

What is your favorite quote?

“She can and she will” -Unknown

What is your favorite food?

Pasta

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Adaptive sports is a great way for a person with a disability to get and stay active and also find a supportive community.

Alpine Skiing


image

Sport: Alpine Ski

Hometown: Horseheads, NY

 

What makes Logan tick?

Describe yourself in two words:
Determined, motivated

Why are sports important to you?
Sports are important to me because there the only thing that lets me feel free of my disability.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Winning the 2015 NASTAR Nationals for my disability group

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Waking up at 5 am and going through some stretches. After that I get a bite to eat and meet my coaches on the hill at 8. We take a couple warm up runs and then go to the race course for the remaining part of the day.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
My coach will usually push me over on the flats to remind me it’s ok to fall and make sure I’m having fun.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Golf

Who do you admire most?
My brother

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
To go heli-skiing in British Columbia.

What is your favorite quote:
“I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Muhammad Ali

What is your favorite food?

Crab

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Go ahead and try it, you’ll never know if you can do something unless you try it.

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Shorewood, MN

Badminton

Sport: Badminton

Hometown: Yankton, SD

Social Media: Facebook= /MilesKrajewskiParaBadminton

 

What makes Miles tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind, Competitive, Inquisitive

Why are sports important to you?

Because they are fun and competitive; and you get to meet new people from all over the world.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

2016 Pan Am Championships Double Gold Medal in Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles. Repeated as Men’s Doubles Champion in 2018.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Training occurs on the weekends in Omaha, NE (2-1/2 hour drive), so the first thing is the drive to Omaha either Friday afternoon for a Friday night training session or early Saturday morning for a Saturday morning training session. Sessions run 1-1/2 to 2 hours, then a 2-hour break for lunch, another hour after lunch, then match play for 1-2 hours. On a full training weekend, I get a Sunday morning session in before heading back home. We have wonderful friends of my dad’s that allow us to stay as guests in their homes on those weekends.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Typical warm-up session, including stretches and footwork. There is also a lot of mental preparation by watching the competition play.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Golf!

Who do you admire most?

Jack Shephard (World #1 SS6 Men’s Singles Player)

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Go watch the Masters in person.

What is your favorite quote?

“I can do all things through Him alone”

What is your favorite food?

Sloppy Joes

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Try your hardest and have fun!

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Parrish, FL

 

What makes Logan tick?

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are important to me because, I have played sports all of my life and I’ve learned many life lessons from sports.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

My biggest accomplishment in Track and Field would be when I was named an U.S. Paralympics Track and Field High School All-American in Discus and Shot Put.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I stretch for 10 minutes, then do warm up throws, and then I throw for real.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Work at my job

Who do you admire most?

My mom because she is my biggest supporter

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

To visit all 50 states

What is your favorite quote?

“It is not the disability that defines you, it’s how you deal with the challenges that the disability presents you with.” -Jim Abbott

What is your favorite food?

Chips and queso

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Definitely try adaptive sports, adaptive sports has changed the way I am, and I’ve had so many great opportunities with adaptive sports.

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Brunswick, ME

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Lakeville, MN

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Haverhill, MA

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Dacula, GA

Instagram: @C_lancaster10

 

Collin Lancaster is a 16-year-old Track and Field athlete from Dacula, Georgia. Collin’s involvement in adapted sports started when he was only 6 years old, he says it was through a family friend who was involved in BlazeSports America, which started it all. Over the years he has found his true passion for track and field, his passion has led him to win a National Championship and set a couple of National Records.

Collin’s achievements over the years were recognized recently when he was selected to be a part of the  U.S. Paralympics Track & Field World Junior Championships Team. At the 2019 World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland, Collin placed in a race each day of the championship. One of his biggest accomplishments Collin says was winning gold for the 1500m race. At this Championship, he also placed Silver twice and Bronze once.

Sports for Collin are very important to him, he says “they help me find a way to be with my friends and be a part of something special that I love.” He also wants anyone who is looking to pursue adapted sports, advice to “keep your head up,” don’t let something tear you down, he says, “always be looking up.”

Swimming

Sport: SwimmingC. Lang 2

Hometown: Dunedin, FL

 

What makes Christina tick?

Describe yourself in three words.
Outgoing, funny, Passionate

Why are sports important to you?
They are a stress reliever and help me stay focused on my activities. They let me meet new people who are on the same journey as I am, and we can learn and help each other. They allow me to push my abilities and training and to be better and stronger.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Track and Field, and strength training in the gym.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Take a chance and just do it. Believe in yourself, you never know how good you can be until you try. What the mind believes the body can achieve!

Who do you admire most?
My brother, Andrew Lang. He was an amazing swimmer and was the one who inspired me to start this journey. He is now a firefighter, and I couldn’t be prouder!

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
For sports.. to learn sled hockey! I would also love to learn how to mountain climb.

What is your favorite quote:
What the mind believes, the body will achieve

What is your favorite food?
Is all of them an answer? I love Chinese noodles like Lo Mein with shrimp!

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Lincoln, NE

Snapchat: @kingkahoot1

 

Lily Lautenschlager is a 15-year-old wheelchair basketball athlete from Lincoln, Nebraska, who has hopes to one day be in the Paralympics. When Lily was first introduced to adapted sports she was only eight, she said it all started out with power soccer. From that introduction, she says she continued to branch out and participate in many different adaptive sports until she found her true passion for basketball.

Since starting basketball, she has achieved many accomplishments within the sport. One of her accomplishments she said, was being “the 2019 National Varsity Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Champions.” She also said she received “2018 Red Dawg Rookie of the Year,” which is for the Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletic Association’s (ENWAA) youth team the Nebraska Red Dawgs that she plays on.

For Lily sports are very important to her she says “it’s a way that I can be competitive just like everyone else.” She also explains that it’s a great way to connect with others her age who are interested in sports as well. Lily is very passionate about basketball and looks up to other athletes within the sport like Natalie Schneider. Lily’s admiration for Natalie is because of the hard work she puts into basketball and for the training, she has given Lily. Lily says “Natalie is helping the next generation by giving me training tips,” with Natalie helping it shows how important building/supporting others in the adaptive sports community is. Which is why Lily’s advice to those looking to pursue adapted sports is to “Do it!” she says, it’s a way to meet new people and have fun. Lily says “Plus, it’s a great experience and I can’t imagine my life without sports.”

Nordic Skiing

Sport: Nordic Skiing

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Instagram: @leblanc5618

 

Michael LeBlanc is a 17-year-old cross country skier from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Michael first began his journey in skiing and adapted sports when he was thirteen, he says a friend encouraged him to join the Ski Team for Benilde-St. Margaret a co-educational private prep school. After joining the team, Michael has been able to grow within the sport and achieve many goals.

A major goal that was achieved for Michael, he said was being placed in the top 14 in a skate 5k race against typical skiers. Since starting skiing, Michael says he has also been able to pick up techniques like skiing without poles, and lifting more weight, becoming an overall stronger person. 

Sports for Michael are very important to him, he says “they have taught me the value of teamwork and a community.” Michael continues to explain the benefits sports have; relieves stress, brings you closer to nature, and overall health benefits. Lastly, Michael explains that sports challenge you to overcome obstacles that are thrown in your direction, and that it’s the accomplishment of overcoming that challenge that makes sports feel good.

Skiing for Michael goes beyond just winning and participating. One athlete he really admires is South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna. Michael explains that he admires her for not only being the first Korean he saw on television but because of her dedication to ice-skating and the community that surrounds it. Kim Yuna has done various charitable causes and is an ambassador for UNICEF. Michael says, “I admire her for doing something she loves and turning it into service.”

Michael is very passionate about skiing and the training it has brought him in life. For those who are looking into pursuing adapted sports, Michael’s advice is to “go for it… there is always going to be a community or people supporting you, encouraging you and being there for you,” he says. Like Michael explained it’s about overcoming those obstacles, he said: “to achieve something much greater than you would expect.”

 For more information about Michael LeBlanc, check out these features on him from CBS and the Southwest Journal: 

 

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: O’Fallon, MO

Social Media: Facebook–Christian Lewin

 

What makes Christian tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Persistent, kind, passionate

Why are sports important to you?

Allows me to be competitive and maintain an active lifestyle

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

All of my performances at US Nationals

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Weight lifting and either roller work or a couple hours on the track

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Listen to music to pump me up

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Off season workouts in the weight room

Who do you admire most?

Tyler Sexton

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Compete in the Paralympics

What is your favorite quote?

I don’t have one

What is your favorite food?

Grilled Chicken

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go for it. There is so much out there you will find something you like.

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Social Media: @gracielockwoo

What makes Grace tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind, Positive, Global-Thinker

Why are sports important to you?

For me, swimming and sports give me a chance to show myself what I can do. Sports give me a sense of accomplishment, pride, empowerment, and joy.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

California state record holder for para swimming in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I do a morning stretch and meditation to get ready for the day. At school, I stay hydrated, eat healthy, move around so when I go to practice, I’m ready. I swim for about 2 hours and three times a week do dry-land training. I train 5-6 days a week, depending on how my body is doing.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Yes! Before every race, I do a little shake out to get ready. It makes me happy, and swim well! I also clean my goggles of fog right before my race and generally clap my hands or physically awaken my muscles. I like to talk before races, to get me in the zone. I will switch between talking, and thinking about what I have to do. The 10 minutes before a race are the dance-only time and race visualization.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Swimming doesn’t really have an off-season. But I will always make time for the Painted Turtle, a camp for children with disabilities and serious illnesses. I also enjoy rock climbing, going to the beach, photography, and hanging with new friends and old! I also have internships and I am an avid learner, so school takes up a lot of my time. I try to be as engaged in life as possible.

Who do you admire most?

I admire people who love or believe in something so much they pursue it until becomes what they dreamt of! People like my parents, Martin Luther King, Michelle Obama, and many more!

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

I want to see giraffes in the wild before I die. Giraffes are my favorite animal because of their beauty, and they have a special meaning in my family, too. Giraffes symbolize keeping your head up tall and sticking with things.

What is your favorite quote?

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

What is your favorite food?

I love food so much, but if I have to answer, ice cream and tacos are at the top. But I’ll try anything.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

It could be the most freeing thing you will ever try. Adaptive sports is about more than being the best, it is about being the best version of yourself. It brought out the best in me, and I hope it can for you, too.

Track and Field

Sport: Track and Field 

Hometown: Edgerton, Ohio 

What makes Caytlin tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Smart, Athletic & Caring

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are important to me because of the outlook on my life it’s given. I feel that I am finally able to thrive in other places in life besides Education. Sports has helped me realize that being paralyzed isn’t all that bad. Sports has given me a desire to push myself daily to achieve many goals I’ve set.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

My biggest accomplishment in my sport for me is marking the Disabled Sports USA Elite Team. I have made this one of my goals for the last few years and It finally happened. Of course, having some national records under my belt is no small feat.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I train 5 days a week with my coach. I usually start out with wheelchair aerobics and stretching, then we either do the racing chair or my bike for endurance and strength training. We usually finish with Shot Put and Discus, and some stretching. Always refuel afterward.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Not anything I can think of. We just make sure to get lots of rest and a full breakfast

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Definitely would be Wheelchair Basketball

Who do you admire most?

I admire US Paralympian Kerri Morgan

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

scuba diving in Hawaii

What is your favorite quote?

“It always seems impossible, until it’s done!” – Nelson Mandela

What is your favorite food?

My favorite good is Shrimp Alfredo

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would tell some who is thinking about trying adaptive sports, to just go for it! Don’t look back, don’t think about it, you will never regret it. You make some many memories and friends. You just may realize that you have an athlete inside you all along!

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Alabaster, AL

 

What makes Kailee tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Passionate, compassionate,driven.

Why are sports important to you?
They help me feel accomplished and it pushes me to work harder in training.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Being the first disabled swimmer to compete in the state meet in Alabama for Thompson High School at Auburn University.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
I stretch for about 45 minutes then go to the pool and warm up with a 500 yard freestyle then I do a mile to a mile and a half in the pool. Then I’ll cool down and get out of the pool. I’m slowly starting to workout in the weight room.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I listen to classic rock on full blast and I pray before and during the meet

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Spending time with my family at the beach and then going to church

Who do you admire most?
Michael Phelps and Tatyana McFadden

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Making it to the 2020 Paralympics

What is your favorite quote:
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”

What is your favorite food?

Pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
With sports you get to travel and meet people with different disabilities and you get to share life experiences and make great friendships with people that last a lifetime.

Featured In:

AHSAA Now – Senior Kailee Lusk sets records

 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Buxton, ME

Social Media: Instagram= @Mackenzie_98

What makes Mackenzie tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Hard working and compassionate

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are important to me because they keep me active and it’s something I can always work to be better at.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Definitely competing in the 2019 Paralympic Nationals event in Winter Park

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

A lot of lifting and cardio

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Not really

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Biking

Who do you admire most?

Mikaela Shiffrin

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Definitely Skydiving

What is your favorite quote?

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

What is your favorite food?

Chicken Alfredo

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Do it! You never know what you’re gonna like if you don’t try it.

Snowboard

Fourth day of The Hartford Ski Spectacular, snowboard race practice Ð photos for Disabled Sports USA. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann on 12/4/15) NIKON D750, {metering mode}, ISO 400, 1/2500 at f/7.1, EV 0.0, lens at 24mm. Photo copyright Reed Hoffmann.Sport: Snowboard

Hometown: Wasilla, AK

 

 

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Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Sugar Grove, IL

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Joliet, IL

Social Media:

Instagram= @peytons_wish

Facebook= Peyton’s Wish

What makes  tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Smart, adventurous, focused

Why are sports important to you?

To be able to compete against other children similar to me.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Being invited to the Gate Way to Gold performance day.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Various by season

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Read a book

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Wheelchair basketball

Who do you admire most?

My mom

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

To travel the world

What is your favorite quote?

“She believed she could, so she did”

What is your favorite food?

Pepperoni pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Just try it, you will love it

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

 

What makes Jeremy tick?

 

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Quiet, laid back, kind

Why are sports important to you?

They keep me active

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Invited to the USA Hockey Development Camp

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Lots of practice on and off the ice

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Track and field and archery

Who do you admire most?

My Dad

What is your favorite food?

Burgers

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Try as many as you can find

Rowing

Sport: Rowing

Hometown: Arlington, VA

 

What makes Kenneth tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Focused, driven, enthusiastic

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are important to me because they give me the chance to challenge myself physically and mentally every single day. I can take pride in my progress as an athlete and also share in my teammates’ accomplishments as well.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Rowing in the Head of the Charles Regatta

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Find a quiet spot to listen to music and think through my warmup and race plan before I leave the dock.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Taking road trips to places I’ve never been before.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Climb a mountain over 14,000 feet tall.

What is your favorite quote?

“If we can come out every practice and every game, learning something that we did well or that we did poorly, we can go from there.” – Gregg Popovich

What is your favorite food?

Mac & Cheese

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go for it! Adaptive sports are a great way to meet dedicated, kind, and supportive teammates and coaches who will help you accomplish things you never thought were possible.

 

 

Judo

Sport: Judo

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Lindale, GA

 

What makes Cade tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Athletic, Funny and Happy

Why are sports important to you?
Because it keeps me active

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Winning three national championships

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Working out, going to practice, and practicing shooting.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Warm up

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Playing video games

Who do you admire most?
My dad

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Going to college

What is your favorite quote:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What is your favorite food?

Pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
That should try it because it is a good thing to do because it motivates you

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Peaster, TX

Social Media: Instagram= @scarahhhhhhh

 

What makes Sarah tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Energetic, supportive, and stubborn

Why are sports important to you?

Because I love seeing what I’m capable of, and I love the family-like team mentality, and working towards a common goal with success. I’ve always been in love with sports.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Winning a collegiate national championship my freshman year of college.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

We practice 5 days a week as a team, and work on individual skills in small group sessions twice a week, we also lift in the weight room 3 times a week.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Get fired up with my teammates, and listen to music

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Swimming

Who do you admire most?

My parents and Stevie Nicks

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Travel to Europe

What is your favorite quote?

“She wasn’t born herself, she found herself over a long and treacherous road, and the more treacherous the road became, the more of herself she found.” -Atticus

What is your favorite food?

Crab legs

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Do it! You’ll learn what you’re capable of, meet people, and make memories that you’ll cherish the rest of your life!

 

Star-Telegram: Maynard Makes All-American Team

Star-Telegram: Wheelchair Athlete Signs to Play Basketball at Alabama

Star-Telegram: No Handicap Here: PHS Student Excels in Life

Track & Field

FB_IMG_1461457989745Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Waterloo, IL

 

What makes Donovan tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Funny, athletic, inspiring

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
I am the current 800m IHSA state record holder, I have been recognized by the US Paralympics as an All-American High School Athlete, and I have completed a marathon.

 

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I would like to become part of Team USA, compete in Tokyo for the US Paralympics in 2020, and run the Boston Marathon.

What is your favorite food?
I really enjoy Chinese food, Mexican, and Thai!!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Don’t let your disability control you, you can show your a-bility!!

Sled Hockey / Track & Field

Sport: Sled Hockey / Track & FieldScreenshot_20160818-215635

Hometown: O’Fallon, MO

 

What makes Chris tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Sarcastic, outgoing, friendly

Why are sports important to you?
Sports are important to me because it is the only thing that allows me to release frustrations. Also because I just love sports.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
My biggest accomplishment was trying out for the U.S National team in 2016.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
First I wake up and go school, after school I work out in my school’s weight room, then I come home and eat, the sleep.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
My favorite off season activity is hanging out with friends and family.

Who do you admire most?
I admire my parents the most. Although they may not be perfect but they work as hard as they can to make my life great.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Go to Alaska.

What is your favorite quote:
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

What is your favorite food?

Beef Brisket

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Do it, it will be the greatest choice you ever made.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Mobile, AL

 

What makes Jordan tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Attitude, Determination, Disciplined

Why are sports important to you?

Competition in adaptive sports is not just the sport itself, it opens up avenues for friendship, competition experience, and overall well being.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

All-American 2017 in shot put – so far!

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Weight lifting with a trainer and 1-2 hours of track & field training with a collegiate coach.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Talk to other athletes and pray

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Fishing & Hunting

Who do you admire most?

My Grandmother – Sybe.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

To become part of the USA Paralympic Track & Field Team.

What is your favorite quote?

“Disability is not inability”

What is your favorite food?

Italian

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would encourage them with all my heart to come out & meet everyone & compete. It was a game changer for my family & I.

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Castle Rock, CO

Track & Field

Sport: Track & FieldCAF Paratriathlon Youth Camp August 18, 2015 ©2015 Rich Cruse  CrusePhoto.com

Hometown: Chicago, IL

 

What makes Stella tick?

Describe yourself in three words.
Outgoing, Funny, Passionate

Why are sports important to you?
Sports has given me confidence in myself and an outlet to inspire others.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Wheelchair basketball

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Adaptive sports has allowed me to forget about my disability and feel like an athlete. It allows you to not only meet many new people around the world, but it also helps you learn about yourself. I’m so grateful for adaptive sports.

Who do you admire most?
Tatyana McFadden

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Go to the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.

What is your favorite quote:
We all have a disability or flaw, but it is how you overcome it that defines you.

What is your favorite food?
Pasta

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Conowingo, MD

Social Media: @samantha._marie_

 

What makes Samantha  tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Athletic, Outgoing, Kind

Why are sports important to you?

Because they allow me to compete and fun while playing a sport I truly enjoy doing. Sports allow me to set goals and achieve those goals. It helps me gain healthy values that are vauiable in life.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Earning a spot on the University of Arizona Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I train everyday in the gym for 1 hour and a half to 2 hours. I also train by shooting a pushing hills

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I just listen to my game day songs

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Going to the beach

Who do you admire most?

Tatyanna Mcfadden

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Skydiving

What is your favorite quote?

“Do what they think you can’t do”

What is your favorite food?

Tacos

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go out and try it! You never know that it could the best decision of your life, like it was mine. Adaptive sports will impact your life in some kind of way and you meet some really great people a long the way. You can learn a lot from adaptive sports and make some friends. Adaptive sports fun and you can compete like anyone else.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & FieldM. Miles 2

Hometown: Dodson, LA

 

What makes Mitchell tick?

Describe yourself in three words.
Dedicated, hard working, blessed

Why are sports important to you?
Sports make me work hard and help me to be at my best.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Hunting

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Go for it!!!

Who do you admire most?
Jesus

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Make the Paralympics.

What is your favorite quote?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

What is your favorite food?
Ribs

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Oak Harbor, OH

 

What makes Chance tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Fun-loving, hardworking, over-comer

Why are sports important to you?
They give me a chance to de-stress in doing something that I love

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Going to the IWAS world games as a competitor with Team USA

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
I will lift in the mornings and do a running workout after school and if I feel up to it I hit up a class at Fully Committed 5150 Fitness

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I plug in my headphones drown out any extra noise and focus on my race

What is your favorite off-season activity?
I love to catch the waves surfing and bodyboarding

Who do you admire most?
My family because without them I wouldn’t be in this position

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
A vacation to the Bahamas

What is your favorite quote:
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

What is your favorite food?

Sushi

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Try it! I was a good choice for me

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Edina, MN

What makes Preston tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Friendly, Hardworking, and Energetic

Why are sports important to you?

Sports help me stay active and I enjoy being outdoors.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Biking and golfing

Snowboard

Sport: SnowboardZ. Miller 2

Hometown: Mammoth Lakes, CA

 

What makes Zach tick?

Describe yourself in three words.
Smooth as sandpaper!

Why are sports important to you?
Participating in sports helps me keep my mind busy.  I am so focused on accomplishing my next goal that I am too busy to worry about my disability.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Don’t think about it-just do it! Come join us-there is nothing like being on a team that extends across states and sometimes even countries!

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Soccer!

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Jumping into an inflatable on a snowboard! I saw it once at a ski training camp and it looked like so much fun!

What is your favorite quote:
“If you are having fun and staying safe, you are probably already learning something” Tim Ball

What is your favorite food?
Mac n cheese-Yes, it gives away my age but I can’t help it!

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Henderson, NV

Social Media:

Instagram: @myrandamishler

Facebook: myrandamishler

Snapchat: myranda_mishler

Myranda Mishler is an 18-year-old Track & Field athlete from Henderson, Nevada with a dream of one day going to the Paralympics. When Myranda first became involved in adapted sports she was eleven years old and played on the miracle league team. Then she explained she later joined the Las Vegas Youth Paralympic Club as well as her high school inclusive track team.

Since Myranda has started Track & Field, she has been able to achieve and grow within the sport. Some of her accomplishments she is most proud of involving “Placing 1st in my division in the State, 1st in my division in Regionals and 2nd at Junior Nationals in Minnesota.” For Myranda sports are very important to her, she said: “it gives me the chance to do something bigger than myself.”

When asked what advice you would give someone who is looking to pursue adapted sports she said,“Follow your dreams,” don’t let someone tell you that you can’t. Myranda explained, “Even though we have to do things differently, we can still do it!”

 

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Roscoe, NY

Instagram: @chasemolinari22

 

Chase Molinari is a 20-year-old Sled Hockey athlete from Roscoe, New York, with dreams of playing on the USA National Sled Hockey Team. Chase first started adapted sports when he was 18, he said he heard about sled hockey once, when he was at a sports event. Then when he moved to Connecticut for college he researched sled hockey in the area and found the Gaylord Sports Association. Even though he has only participated in sled hockey for a few years, he has been able to accomplish great things within a short period of time.

Within the first year of Chase being on the Gaylord Sports Association team, they won a National Championship with him as the goalie. Since that moment, he said, “I was hooked from then on.” Chase says he has been able to attend two USA Select Camps for Sled Hockey and is planning on trying out for the USA National Sled Hockey Team this year. Sports to Chase are very important to him because he says “they give me a chance to escape my disability…” Chase continues, “For those minutes out on the ice, I’m just like everyone else a competitor.”

For many people it can be intimidating to try adapted sports, Chase wants to let those know to not be afraid to get out there, whether you’ve participated in able-bodied sports or not. Chase says, “This is your chance, no disabilities, the playing field is completely level unless you put in the work to rise above the rest.”

Volleyball

Sport: Volleyball L. Mullen 2

Hometown: Goshen, IN

 

What makes Laura tick?

Describe yourself in three words.
Outgoing, Creative, and Motivated

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Being part of the A2 Developmental program through USA Sitting Volleyball

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Praying for safety and for a Christlike attitude

What is your favorite off-season activity?
My favorite thing to do when not training for volleyball is running in 5k’s!

Who do you admire most?
Family/Church Family

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I would like to travel all over the world and take pictures

What is your favorite quote?
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” Colossians 3:23

What is your favorite food?
Pasta

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
I think that everyone should be willing to give adaptive sports a try. When I first heard of sitting volleyball I was hesitant since I had always played standing. I quickly realized that the adaptive sports, especially volleyball, is a lot of fun and give everyone the chance to participate. There are so many different adaptive sports that everyone can find something they love!

 

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled HockeyCMyers-SledHockey

Hometown: Denver, CO

 

What makes Casey tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Bright, Optimistic, Personable

Why are sports important to you?
Fun and a good way to embrace your competitive side.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
My youth team won the Nationl Disabled Festival

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Saturday morning practices

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Video gaming

Who do you admire most?
My family

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Go to the Great Barrier Reef

What is your favorite quote:
If once you fail, try, try again

What is your favorite food?

BBQ sausage, hot and sour soup

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
If sports is something you want to do, go for it.

Goalball

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Orange Park, FL

Social Media: ttre0920@gmail.com

What makes Tre’Shaun tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Hard Working, Dedicated, Goal Oriented

Why are sports important to you?

GoalBall

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Becoming All American and MVP

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Work outs

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Stretch before competition

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Working out

Who do you admire most?

Israel Adesayna

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Playing in the Olympics

What is your favorite quote?

The meaning of Life is to give Life meaning

What is your favorite food?

Macaroni Salad

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would tell them that it’s a team building, team bonding organization.

Goalball

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Grayslake, IL

 

What makes Virdiana tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Honest, reliable, and kind

Why are sports important to you?

Goalball is important to me because it has taught me to be a better person. I Like playing with my teammates because I know that they are going to help me to be a better athlete.

Who do you admire most?

I admire my parents

What is your favorite quote?

“You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for”

What is your favorite food?

Tacos

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Lake Villa, IL

Nordic Skiing

Sport: Nordic Skiing

Hometown: Stillwater, MN

 

What makes Max tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Motivated, empathetic, and grit

Why are sports important to you?

It makes me feel good

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Hardest Worker 2 years in a row or honorable mention

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Practice everyday

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Working out in the workout room

Who do you admire most?

My dad

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Paralympics

What is your favorite quote?

“We don’t use the word can’t. Can’t is not in our vocabulary.”

What is your favorite food?

We don’t use the word can’t. Can’t is not in our vocabulary.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Do it!

Track & Field

 

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: North Granby, CT

Instagram: @helennewmann

 

Helen Newman is an 18-year-old athlete from North Granby, Connecticut. When Newman first started her involvement in adaptive sports she was only three years old. Her physical therapist was the one who told her family about adapted sports and made the connection to the Hospital for Special Care Cruisers. Newman was able to start her journey in sports and recreation through the programs offered at this hospital. Leading her to the sport where she finds most passion in, track and field. “Track gives me the opportunity to meet other athletes like me.” Not only does track and field to Newman allow her to meet people from all over, but also it allows her to feel just like her able-bodied friends. Proving that she can too, compete in sports like her friends and that her opportunities aren’t limited.

Since beginning her journey in track and field, she has been able to accomplish a lot within the sport. Starting off with being one of the first wheelchair athletes in the state of Connecticut to compete on a high school track team. The other student wheelchair athlete happens to be one of her own high school teammates. Since becoming one of the first wheelchair athletes in her state, her achievements didn’t just end there. Newman went onto proving her importance to her team, by being named US Paralympics Track and Field High School All-American, twice. While also participating in her high school team, Newman has also gone on to compete in three half marathons. Newman’s advice for those thinking about trying adapted sports is, “don’t be afraid to try something new; you may find a sport that you love doing.” Newman has clearly found a true passion in her life and it would have never happened if she chose not to try.

 

Sled Hockey/ Basketball

Sport: Sled Hockey/Basketball

Hometown: Haymarket, VA

 

Evan Nichols is a 15-year-old sled hockey and wheelchair basketball athlete. When he was ten he began his involvement in adapted sports. Evan said it was a friend that persuaded him to try sled hockey, it only took three years of convincing, but once he agreed Evan fell in love with the sport. Since beginning adapted sports, Evan has been able to accomplish a lot within the sports he has taken up; sled hockey and wheelchair basketball.

In sled hockey,

Evan has been able to be a part of winning the League for Sled Hockey in 2019, Evan has also placed 3rd at both 2018 and 2019 hockey Nationals with his team. For basketball Evan and his team ended up winning their first wheelchair basketball game at Nationals in 2019. Sports to Evan are very important to him, he says, “they allow me to compete and improve my skills while being with a team.” Evan also explains that sports just overall make him feel good.

For those who are interested in pursuing adapted sports, Evans advice is “take your time with it, don’t get too frustrated if you’re not good right away.” Evan explains to not give up so easily, it’s a process that is worth the work.

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Colwich, KS

 

Kasey Nickel is a 17-year-old track and field athlete from Colwich, Kansas. When Kasey first started her journey into adapted sports, it was her coach in 8th grade that recommended her to try adaptive track. After she started, she couldn’t stop. Kasey has since gone onto achieve major goals within the sport.

One of her biggest accomplishment in track and field Kasey says, “Holding the US Paralympic record for shot put and discus for F37.” Also being able to represent Team USA in Ireland at IWAS Jr. the Youth World Games, was another major accomplishment in her career. At IWAS Jr she was able to compete against others on an international level.

Leading up to events like these take a lot of practice, a typical day in Kasey’s training program she says looks like “Sweat and tears, but really, hard work and training.” She continues to explain that her training contains running, weight lifting and throwing shot put.  

Sports to Kasey are very important to her, she says “they give me a chance to be competitive with athletes the same as me.” For those who are interested in pursuing adapted sports, Kasey says to “Just go do it! This has been life-changing for me.”

 

For additional information about Kasey’s journey in Track & Field check out this feature of Kasey by KWCH12: Throwing Out Expectations: Kasey’s Amazing Track Journey.

Tennis

Sport: Tennis

Hometown: New York, NY

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Cumberland, ME

 

What makes Delaney tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Tenacious, curious, silly

Why are sports important to you?
For years when I was growing up, people told me that I couldn’t do certain things…I couldn’t walk or run, couldn’t play certain sports — things that people in adaptive sports have heard far too often. Sports, and particularly running, allow me to prove all those people wrong and help me feel strong and powerful. They also provide the platform to bring these feeling of strength and joy to other (especially younger) people through adaptive sports.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Competing at the collegiate level and winning the T35 2017 Nationals in the 200m

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Morning — ~15/20 minute cross training and stretching session before heading off to work for the day Afternoon — sprinting workout, my favourite time of the day! During a typical week in season, I will do one day of extensive tempo (usually 200m repeats), one day of speed work, one day of lifting, one day of longer sprints (500s, 600s, etc.) and pre-meet block work on Friday before Saturday competition. Evening — my other favourite time of day: DINNER! I love to cook, so my post-run dinner is usually where I get my chef on. After dinner I will usually do some light stretching, maybe watch some television or read before heading to bed.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Just before getting in the blocks I think about how everything I and my coaches have done up to this point has made me ready for this moment and I commit totally mentally and physically to the race

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Alpine skiing

Who do you admire most?
Scout Bassett, Allyson Felix, and Stephen Hawking

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Competing in the Paralympic Games!

What is your favorite quote:
“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” — JK Rowling

What is your favorite food?

Probably carrots haha

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Two things — first, you are strong and awesome! Do not worry about what other people are doing, focus on the value of adaptive sports to you and how it makes you feel. Also do not be afraid to try new sports, try not to worry too much about the limitations and just try them! We can do everything from track & field to archery to hockey — and everything in between!

Featured In:

Occidental College – Nolin Breaks T38 U.S. Paralympic 800m Record

Occidental College – Nolin Named NCAA Woman of the Year Finalist

Occidental College – Nolin Named SCIAC Women’s Track AOW

Archery

Sport: Archery

Hometown: Shephersdville, KY

Social Media: Instagram= @faitheryy

 

Faith Oakley is an 18-year-old Move United Elite Team Athlete who is striving for excellence on and off the range. A sophomore at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky, Oakley is pursuing a degree in Christian Ministries and Human Services and Counseling and is looking to complete her Master’s degree at Asbury University in Mental Health Counseling directly afterwards. With her next few years of education set, Oakley has big dreams to become a faith-based counselor to help children 1-on-1 who are struggling.

Additionally, Oakley is pursuing her dream of participating in the Paralympics in archery in Paris 2024. Usually, she is training at the range with her teammates shooting and doing strength training for multiple hours a day, but due to COVID-19, Oakley is lifting bags of cat litter and carrying them up the stairs to stay active. Her coaches and teammates have a Google Meet Group, where they are mentally and physically preparing for their 3-D archery season in August. Oakley says, “I miss them all [her teammates] a lot, but I FaceTime most of them every day and we’re one big family. We encourage each other to stay in shape and do everything we can. Our coaches have been really good about keeping us in shape and checking in.”

If you are thinking about trying adaptive sports, Oakley says, “if they had a dream to play a sport, to take that dream and run with it. If I chose not to shoot archery because it was an “able bodied” sport, I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today. Adaptive sports are great! They’re fun, they’re competitive, and they’re not any less of a sport than able-bodied sports.”

 

USA Today: With the Use of Only One Arm, She’s Determined to be the Best Archer in the World

Courier Journal: With the Use of Only One Arm, Faith Oakley is Determined to be one of the Best Archers in the World

Goalball

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Alpine Skiing

20151202_SkiSPecD2_357

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Spring Lake, NJ

Track & Field/Cross-Country Skiing

Sport: Tack & Field/Cross-Country Skiing

Hometown: Barneveld, WI

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Athletic, Active and Competitive

Why are sports important to you?

It allows me to socialize with others and competing is fun for me.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

I am the 2015 Wisconsin High School State Track/Field Runner-up title holder

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Arriving early to competitions is my ritual.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Nordic skiing

Who do you admire most?

Aaron Pike

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Compete in the paralympics one day.

What is your favorite quote?

“Go Fast”

What is your favorite food?

Spaghetti

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

To give it a try and see if you like it!

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Social Media: Parker_athlete

What makes Parker tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Creative, Smart and Impactful

Why are sports important to you?

Sports help build character. They keep me healthy and give me goals to strive for.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

My biggest Sled Hockey accomplishment was being asked to play on our adult team.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I like to start my day with push ups and ball work. After studying, I do warmups; cardiovascular

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Listening to Speed Metal on the way to the rink.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

I do not have an off season, as my team practices all year, but I love to get in the water and surf

Who do you admire most?

I admire John Gibson & Anaheim Ducks Goalie

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Being able to practice with Team USA

What is your favorite quote?

“You never lose. You either win or learn.”

What is your favorite food?

California Burrito

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

It’s a life changing experience that everyone should take part in.

Paratriathlon

Sport: ParatriathlonJ. O'Neil 2

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

 

What makes Jack tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Brave, funny, strong

Why are sports important to you?
I am very competitive so I enjoy competition of any kind. I also like having fun with my teammates and coaches. Being an athlete and a sports fan is who I am!

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Skiing

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Do not be afraid of trying something new because you may end up loving it. Don’t worry about not being good at the sport right away. Find people that can mentor you. I promise you will find adaptive sports fun!

Who do you admire most?
Melissa Stockwell introduced me to the sport of paratriathlon and has encouraged and inspired me in many ways. When I met Melissa, she told me I would be a champion. I chose to believe her and it’s changed my life.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I would love to be a guest announcer at a Chicago Blackhawks game.

What is your favorite quote:
Fate whispers to the warrior, “You can not withstand the storm.” The warrior whispers back, “I am the storm.”

What is your favorite food?

Burritos!

Taekwondo

Sport: Taekwondo

Hometown: Fairfield, OH

 

What makes Austin tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Determined. Competitive. Humble.

Why are sports important to you?

I enjoy competition, being active and achieving goals, all which can be accomplished through sports.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Earning my black belt.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Eating balanced meals, stretching, cardio, kicking drills, sparring, post workout ice therapy, and getting plenty of sleep.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I take a 5 minute power nap to stay calm and relaxed.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Playing video games and spending time with family.

Who do you admire most?

Evan Medell – my fellow parataekwondo teammate and training partner.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Visiting the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

What is your favorite quote?

Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.

What is your favorite food?

Chicken Curry with Rice

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Don’t be afraid to try something new and always believe in yourself.

 

Cicinnati.com: Born with One Arm, 14-year-old Black Belt Shoots for 2024 Paralympics

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Garden City, NY

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

Social Media: @bethpuma8

 

What makes Magnolia tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Determined, kind, intelligent

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are important to me because I love the thrill of competing and getting better. It also lets me meet new people and provides me with opportunities to grow as an athlete.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Making my Paralympic Can Am cuts, and then medaling in events the last two years.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I go to an hour and a half of my high school practice then follow it up with an hour and a half of my club team practice. I work on all strokes, endurance, kicking and turns.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I can never fall asleep the night before a meet…no matter what meet it is, fun or competitive. Other than that, no rituals!

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Playing other sports such as goalball, track and field, triathlon, and then reading and doing art projects.

Who do you admire most?

I admire my brother Mason–he is athletic, kind-hearted, funny, he can talk to anyone and make friends with them. This is a hard question because I admire so many people I come in contact with.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Backpack the world with a friend

What is your favorite quote?

“Sooner or later we have to see that what we do and what happens to us are the same thing.” –Zen Teaching in the foreword of the novel What Elephants Know

What is your favorite food?

Soft Pretzels sticks with cheese

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Definitely do it! You get to know different people from all over the nation. It’s always so cool–I have met so many people I would have never met through these competitions. Adaptive sports give me so many opportunities to compete.

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Wichita, KS

 

Grant Pierce is a 14-year-old track and field athlete from Wichita, Kansas, with hopes to one day participate in the Paralympics. When Grant was only eight he was introduced to adapted sports, by his physical therapist. Since his first introduction to adapted sports, he was found to have a passion for Track and Field. In this sport, he has been able to break two National Records, one in 2016 for Shot Put, and one in Javelin and Discus in 2017. Grant has also participated and succeeded in other sports like tennis and basketball. In these sports, he says he has been able to win second place at his first-ever adult tennis tournament and has been able to do traveling with his basketball team to different tournaments.

 With participating in so many sports it doesn’t give Grant much of an offseason; with track and field in the spring, tennis in the summer, and basketball in the fall and winter, but Grant doesn’t seem to mind it. Grant mentions that before sports he used to feel alone, but now being a part of adapted sports he has been able to connect and meet people from all over the United States. Sports has allowed Grant to feel equal and confident with people he is playing with, he says he doesn’t feel disabled when playing sports. Grant says, “I am able to do most sports with my friends that are not disabled.  

Sports are very important to Grant, they not only aid as a connection to others, but he says “Sports keep me active and gives me a goal to focus on.” One of Grants goals is to one day be in the Paralympics. Those seeking to pursue adapted sports Grant says, “Don’t let anyone define you by your disability. Your disability is part of you, but you are much more.” Emphasizing that even though you may have a disability, that doesn’t makeup who you are as a person, and it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything you set your mind to.

 

To check out more information and features regarding Grant Pierce, click the links below: 

KAKE – What’s Trending: Wichita boy nabs awards in paralympics-style competition

KSNW – ‘Ready, set, ADAPT’ inspires kids

KAKE – Ready, Set, Adapt

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

 

Daniel Pittman is a 14-year-old Wheelchair Basketball athlete from Birmingham, Alabama. When Daniel first became involved in adapted sports he was eight years old, he started off being involved in mainly swimming recreational programs. It wasn’t until he found the Lakeshore Foundation that he would find his passion for wheelchair basketball and has since achieved within the sport.

In 2018, Daniel placed 4th at the Wheelchair Basketball Junior Nationals for prep. Then in 2019, Daniel set a personal record high of 22 points scored in a wheelchair basketball game during the SEC championship tournament. Sports to Daniel are important to him because it gives him an activity to do that he enjoys. For those looking into pursuing adapted sports, Daniel said: “It can be hard at first, but stick with it and keep practicing.”

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Pana

What makes Tristan tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Confident, friendly, bright minded

Why are sports important to you?

Because it gives me something to work on my self and get better at.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Holding to national records

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Lot of time in the weight room and a lot of pushing on the track

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Eat healthy

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Relaxing

Who do you admire most?

Tatiana McFarland

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Taking part in the Olympics

What is your favorite quote?

“Keep moving forward”

What is your favorite food?

Chicken Alfredo

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go for it; You never know what you’ll fall in love with unless you give it a chance

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: East Calais, VT

What makes Kyler tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind, competitive, thoughtful

Why are sports important to you?

I live to watch, play and learn everything about sports.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Winning the New England Invitational Sled Hockey Tournament in 2015

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Varies from day to day

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I get my ears rubbed

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Fishing, camping, hunting …. and off-season sled hockey clinics, practices, and scrimmages

 

Goalball

20170312_1905041Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Strasburg, VA

 

What makes Shyanne tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Independent, Ambitious, Determined

Why are sports important to you?
Because they help people break barriers and strive to improve themselves.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Being accepted to play on the D.C. Womens Team

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Yoga and meditation as a way to lower pre-game jitters

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Stretch, cardio warm up, strength training and endurance exercises, drills, scrimmage games, cool down, and stretch.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Swimming

Who do you admire most?
Jesus Christ

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Climb the Seven Summits

What is your favorite quote:
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. ~ Rocky
What is your favorite food?

Chich-fil-a waffle fries

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
You should at least try. It helps build confidence as a person with a person with a disability.

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Lacey, WA

What makes Jamin tick?

Why are sports important to you?

It offers a collaborative-competitive atmosphere—the best way to improve.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

I love road trips and camping

What is your favorite quote?

“Everything will be alright in the end” ~ Weezer

What is your favorite food?

Sushi, carne asada, bibimbap

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Seattle Times: Take 2: Experiencing the Gift of Sled Hockey

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Wooster, OH

Instagram: @ssrhodes13

 

Sammy Rhodes is a 20-year-old Track and Field student-athlete for the University of Illinois, from Wooster Ohio. When Sammy first started her journey with adapted sports it was through the Adaptive Program of Ohio when she was ten. Within those ten years from when she first started, Sammy found her true passion for Track and Field. Over the years, Sammy has been able to grow immensely within the sport. From her high school track team; where she won the State Track meet twice, to competing in the 2016 Paralympic Trials, leading up to her current placement at the University of Illinois. Since being accepted to the University of Illinois and their Wheelchair Track team, she explains she has been able to learn and compete on a collegiate level.

Sports to Sammy are important, she says “it allows me to maintain a healthy lifestyle and also meet amazing athletes along the way.” With track and field, Sammy has been able to meet many people from all over, one person she has met that has made an impact on her is her friend and teammate Jenna Fesemyer. Sammy says, “She has always been my role model and she always has a positive outlook on life!”

For those interested in pursuing adapted sports, Sammy’s advice is to definitely get out there and try different adapted sports, she says “they will change your life in so many ways!” She also wants people to not care or worry about what others think about you, she says “at the end of the day it’s your life so enjoy it and do what makes you happy!”

Tennis

Sport: TennisC. Ratzlaff 2

Hometown: Wichita, KS

 

What makes Casey tick?

Describe yourself in three words.
Competitive, Humble, Christian

Why are sports important to you?
Because I enjoy the competition and the challenge of becoming the best I can be.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Winning the World Team Cup Gold medal in Antalya Turkey in 2015.

What does a typical day in your training program look like
Monday thru Friday I do about 45-60 min of weight training/core work followed by a 60 minute hit session with my coach. After hitting with my coach I usually will practice serving for another 12-30 minutes. Two nights a week I also participate in a group drill session for 60 minutes with able bodied players. On weekends I will play at least 1 competitive match in the various singles leagues I am in against able bodied competitors.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Just relax to my favorite music.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Snow skiing, fishing, going to the beach

Who do you admire most?
Roger Federer

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I would like to hit with Roger Federer

What is your favorite quote:
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can”

What is your favorite food?
Cheeseburgers

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
I would encourage them to go out and do it. To not give up because it is the difficulty that makes it so great.

 

In the News:

BNP PARIBAS WORLD TEAM CUP RESULTS

Wichita’s Ratzlaff, Taylor on BNP Paribas Championship Team

USTA Kansas Awards

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: St. Augustine, FL

 

What makes Morgan tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Dedicated, Determined, Conscientious.

Why are sports important to you?
Sports give me a challenge each day to push beyond my limits.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
In 2013, I competed at the World Dwarf Games in Lansing, Michigan. There, I competed in multiple sports including swimming. I broke three world records in my age group.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
I work 3 hours a day, six days a week.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Before each race, I’ll go through my dynamic warm-up, take time aside to thank God for the opportunity to compete and to ask him to give me strength and courage to not hold anything back in the pool.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
I never have an off-season. The grind never ends. However, when I do have breaks, I enjoy playing basketball, listening to music, learning to play the guitar, and hanging out with my family/friends.

Who do you admire most?
I admire my friend, Grace Bunke. Grace was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was 11, a form of bone cancer, which she later had rotationplasty surgery. She had been through cancer on and off for a few years. She was a swimmer and got better and stronger. She achieved so much and inspired the lives of many. She fought a long and hard battle and never lost hope. Unfortunately, on March 25th, 2018, she passed away. I know that she will always be in the pool right beside me.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
To compete at the Paralympic Games.

What is your favorite quote:
“I command you, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

What is your favorite food?

Pizza

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
I would say to them to never once think they can’t do something. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Anything is possible with God. He made us in his image of perfection. Just because we have differences doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish something amazing. We’ll just find a different way to do it.

Sled Hockey / Track & Field

Sport: Sled Hockey / Track & Field

Hometown: Bowling Green, OH

What makes Eric tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Helpful, friendly and flexible.

Why are sports important to you?

Sports have given me an outlet to compete, exercise and get to know some amazing people. They have taught me the importance of working hard at something to achieve a goal.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Being named to the U.S. Paralympic High School Track and Field All American list for 3 years

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Eating healthy food, drinking lots of water, hitting the weight room and practice on the track/field.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Getting a good night sleep the night before, listening to music and visualizing what I need to do in my events.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Hand cycling in the summer/fall and sled hockey in the winter

Who do you admire most?

Daniel Romanchuk

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Purchase a muscle car at a Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction

What is your favorite quote?

Where there is a will, there is a way.

What is your favorite food?

Salmon

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go for it! Adaptive sports are the best and will change your life for the good!

 

Team U.S. Paralympics: 2018 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans Named

Sentinel-Tribune: BGHS’ Rine is State Champion in Seated Shot Put

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Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Federal Way, WA

 

What makes Tyler tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Open-minded, creative, and social

Why are sports important to you?
Sports are my escape from my problems in life

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Making it to nationals for my first time.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Always have a personal handshake with my coach

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Traveling to new places

Who do you admire most?
My Father because he has given me so many opportunities to make my life better.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Wheelchair paintball war

What is your favorite quote?
“My disability does not affect my ability.”

What is your favorite food?

Orange Chicken.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Give it a try, it may surprise you on how much it can change your life.

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Everett, WA 

 

Luke Robinson is an 18-year-old wheelchair basketball athlete from Everett, Washington. Luke was first introduced to Wheelchair Basketball when he was 14, it was initiated by his dad who actually played the sport. Over the past four years, Luke has been able to accomplish a lot with Basketball.

One accomplishment that has occurred recently for Luke was being recruited for Auburn University’s Wheelchair basketball team. Luke is set to be on the roster this fall 2019. Going back to when Luke was in high school he was able to help improve with his team he says, “From a 7-13 record to an 18-1 record over my last 3 years of high school.” Since graduating high school he says he has been able to become an influential leader to the younger players on the team.

Basketball and sports are very important to Luke, he says “sports allow me to build relationships with people going through similar struggles as me.” Luke’s advice for people looking into adapted sports is to just do it. Luke says, “There are a lot of reasons to not try it, I have been in that position…” Luke continues, “But once you do it and get into the moment you’ll forget all about the reasons you didn’t want to try it.”

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Island Lake

 

What makes Juan tick? 

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Athletic, Outgoing and Hard working

Why are sports important to you?

It runs in the family

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Being able to compete in the Chicago Marathon

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Wake up, eat breakfast and train

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I chew gum because it helps me focus

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Work out

Who do you admire most?

My mom because she has done everything for me

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Become state champion in track

What is your favorite quote?

“Do it because they said you couldn’t.”

What is your favorite food?

Anything with meat in it

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

It’s life changing if you put time and effort into it

Cycling

Sport: Cycling

Hometown: Chesapeake, VA

 

What makes Rebecca tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Confident, spontaneous and outgoing

Why are sports important to you?
It makes me feel free and like I am no different than anybody else.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Being able to spread the word about adaptive sports and inclusion.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Cardio, dancing to the Wii for 3 hours, cross training with different sports depending on which day it is; wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, therapy riding

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I tell myself I will be faster in each race than I was the year before.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Art & Photography

Who do you admire most?
My big brother, David because he always believed in me and made me feel special.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
International Travel

What is your favorite quote?
Life is hard but it can always get better.

What is your favorite food?

Cheese-all kinds

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Go for it! You only live once!

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Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Plymouth, MN

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Carlsbad, CA

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

 

Matthew Schultz is a 17-year-old wheelchair basketball athlete from Des Moines, Iowa. When Matthew was first introduced to adapted sports, it was at an adaptive sports equipment clinic he says he went to in his hometown. Matthew says, “There, I met Mike Boone of Adaptive Sports Iowa, who introduced me to various adaptive sports such as wheelchair track and wheelchair basketball.” Five years after this introduction Matthew is still participating in wheelchair basketball and track.

Matthew has been able to win and achieve major accomplishments within the sports. For Track, he has been able to win the Wheelchair State Co-Championship and a 400 Meter Championship for Track, all within his freshman year of high school. The following year Matthew says, “I became a repeat 400 Meter State Champion. Matthew was able to win the 400 Meter Championship for track not just once, but back to back years. Matthew’s accomplishments in sports didn’t stop there, he also grew success in Basketball. One accomplishment from that just happened in 2019, was Matthew and his team winning the NIT championship at Nationals.

Sports for Matthew are very important, he says “it not only keeps me active, but also provides an incentive to do good in life, and school.” Matthew also explained that he originally didn’t have any interest in sports when he was younger. It wasn’t until sixth grade, Matthew saw the motivation sports brought in his life and decided to stick with it. For those looking to pursue adapted sports like Matthew, he says to, “Go out there and research sport opportunities around you and try a little bit of everything.” Matthew finishes with, “You never know what you are going to enjoy doing.”  

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Piermont, NH

Track & Field

Track-DSUSA

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Tallahassee, FL

 

What makes Erica tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Funny, competitive, kind

Why are sports important to you?
Because I like to stay healthy and have fun but also push myself to do the best I can on the track and while I play soccer

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
National record holder for the 100m, 200m, long jump U16 T44

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I jump up and down, twist from side to side and wiggle my hands

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
I alternate between weights, cardio, speed and agility, running on track and soccer

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Doing things with my friends and watching Netflix

Who do you admire most?
My Mimi (grandmother)

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Bungee Jumping

What is your favorite quote:
“Make today so awesome that yesterday gets jealous”

What is your favorite food?

Ice Cream

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
If you are first getting into it have and open mind because you will never know what can happen, and to also find someone who is really willing to help you. You also must work hard.

 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Larchmont, NY

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Titusville, FL

What makes Stephen tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind, hard-working, and intelligent

Why are sports important to you?

Being physically fit and in shape is very important to me. Being in a wheelchair for a majority of my day can make me a little lazy and playing sports helps me stay fit and active

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Most recently, my teammates and I competed and won the Tier IV Division at the NHL Sled Classic.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

When I go the gym I spend 20-30 mins on the rower machine, then I spend another 15-20 mins working with dumbbells. I also practice shooting pucks while at home in my background.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

My team has a ritual of passing around our “lucky hammer”- a plastic toy Thor’s hammer. Every team member has to hold and pass around the hammer before every game.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

When I’m not playing hockey, I like to go kayaking.

Who do you admire most?

I look up to many of the members of National Paralympic USA team.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

I would love to visit the Smithsonian and spend as much time as possible there.

What is your favorite quote?

“You will miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”- Wayne Gretzky

What is your favorite food?

I love chicken quesadillas

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Absolutely, I would definitely encourage them to at least try whatever sport they are looking into, when I first started playing sled hockey I knew as soon as I got on the ice that this was my sport.

 

First Coast News: Sled Hockey Players Show Skills in Jacksonville

Track & Field

Sport: Track &  Field

Hometown: Albin, WY

Instagram: @oneleggedderik

 

Derik Smith is a 16-year-old track and field athlete from Albin, Wyoming. It was only last year that Derik was introduced to adapted sports, he explains that he received a grant from Amputee Blade Runner. It was Amputee Blade Runner that encouraged him to apply for the grant and from there he says “I began competing at Adaptive Sports meets.” Since beginning Adapted sports, Derik has accomplished a lot within the sport. Derik has been able to get offered a scholarship to run at the University of Texas on their adaptive sports team. With the grant, Derik was able to get a new sprinters blade and explains that there hasn’t been a race yet where he hasn’t improved.

Sports for Derik are very important to him, he says sports “make me feel equal to everyone else.” Derik explains that there is always someone who wins and losses, either way, all the athletes are competing for the same thing. When Derik is in his offseason, he explains that he loves to do different sports. He says, “If I could play eight sports in high school, I would.” Derik explains that by playing a different sport, it can help build strength in parts of your body that may be neglected in other sports.

An athlete that Derik admires is David Prince; a USA sprint runner in the T44 class, who lost his right leg, below the knee in a 2002 motorcycle accident. Derik says he met David at the Desert Storm meet, Derik’s first race. Derik says he was lined up for the 100m with David and a couple of other Paralympians. Derik says, “I sighed pretty loud, and David said, ‘Just run your race, Derik,’ and that’s what I do, ever time, win or lose.” For those who are interested in pursuing adapted sports like Derik, his advice is to “Just move forward, you are holding on to the rope that is tied to the mountain in front of you.” He continues, “Someone has to move it, why not you?”

Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Henrico, VA

Instagram: @hannah_spokes13

 

Hannah Smith is a 17-year-old Wheelchair basketball athlete from Henrico, Virginia who has aspirations to one day play for Team U.S.A. When Hannah was first introduced to adapted sports she was eleven years old, starting out with wheelchair tennis. Hannah later found out that her true passion would be wheelchair basketball.

With wheelchair basketball Hannah has been able to become skilled in a high-level competition sport, which she says has brought her “true feeling of success where I know it wasn’t just handed to me because of my diagnosis,” said Hannah. Wheelchair basketball and adapted sports in general, have created opportunities where she can be an advocate for local sports programs and for adapted sports all over.

One of her most recent achievements was being selected to participate as a U.S. adaptive sports delegate in Turkmenistan in October of 2019. Hannah explains that sports have “made me work harder and become better than I ever thought I could…” She said, “My aspirations are now higher than I could imagine as a young girl.” Hannah’s advice for athletes looking to pursue adapted sports is to “Just do it! It will change your life.”  

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Millbury, MA

What makes Mateo tick?

Describe yourself in three words.

Determined, positive and energetic

Why are sports important to you?

Sports challenges me to accomplish things I normally would not be able to do and become a stronger healthier person.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

This year I was able to compete in the Diana Golden race in just over 1 minute after originally taking over 7 minutes.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

2 hours of race training and 2 hours of endurance and increased trail difficulty. Followed by stretching and hot tub.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Donuts and music

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Swimming and baseball

Who do you admire most?

Darth Sidious

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Work at Lego Land

What is your favorite quote?

“Do or Do Not, there is no try”

What is your favorite food?

Salmon, mashed potatoes and broccoli

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Try it, you can accomplish more than you think

Track & Field

Sport: Track & FieldN. Stary Schasfoort 3

Hometown: Avon Lake, OH

 

What makes Nelya tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Bubbly, driven, spiritual

Why are sports important to you?
Sports have really helped me with my disability, I have met ever lasting friends from around the world, true friends that do not laugh at my arms but honor my talent

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Biking and hiking

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Adaptive Sports pens the world and gives you personal goals that take you past your expectations

Who do you admire most?
Courtney Jordan, S7 swimmer

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I want to be one of the youngest competitor in Japan in Track and swimming and get a gold in each for my coutnry

What is your favorite quote:
Through hard work, perseverance and faith in God you can live your dreams

What is your favorite food?

Strawberries, avocado, organic smoothies and yes chocolate. I try to eat healthy and organic abut a girl just has to have chocolate!!

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Murrieta, CA

Cycling & Nordic/Biathlon

Sport: Cycling & Nordic/BiathlonThird day of the 2014 Hartford Ski Spectacular by Disabled Sports USA, at Nordic center in Frisco shooting cross country and biathlon. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann on 12/3/14) NIKON D750, {metering mode}, ISO 200, 1/1000 at f/8, EV 0.0, lens at 38mm. Photo copyright Reed Hoffmann.

Hometown: Murrieta, CA


What makes Tyler tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.
Dynamic, fun , adventuresome

Why are sports important to you?  
I Like competing and having fun

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Cycling, Drama, and Boy Scouts

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
It is a lot of fun and you get to be outside with other people

Who do you admire most?
Walt Disney, Coach Maggie Palchak

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Do the Paralympics , Be in a Broadway play

What is your favorite quote?
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

What is your favorite food?
Lasagna

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Ardmore, PA

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Slidell, LA

 

What makes Kira tick?

 

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
I usually run and throw in the morning and go to swim team practice in the afternoon.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I love to listen to music and talk to friends that are competing.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I would like to do Ironman and go to the Paralympics.

What is your favorite quote:
“Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.” Jerry Dunn

What is your favorite food?

BBQ

 

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Centennial, CO

Track and Field

Sport: Track and field

Hometown: Pennington, New Jersey

Instagram: @nettie_s6734

 

Vanessa Strunk is a 20-year-old track and field athlete from Pennington, New Jersey. Vanessa first started adapted sports when she was 17, through her high school track and field coach. Although she was hesitant about trying it, once she witnessed another adaptive athlete compete she decided to finally try it. Vanessa says, “This gave me the motivation to pursue adapted sports, learn something new, and get out of my comfort zone.” She also mentions she started to get involved with a para athletic club team called Children’s Lightning Wheels and has been with them for the past three years.

Within those three years, Vanessa has been able to achieve a lot within the sport. Vanessa has been able to qualify for Junior Nationals each year she has been competing. Vanessa has also received the United States Army Reserve National Scholar-Athlete Award, an award that recognizes seniors for superior performance in academic and athletic achievement in organized school sports. She is also a Paralympic High School All American athlete in Javelin. Sports are very important to Vanessa, because “being in a wheelchair I spend most of my life sedentary, and therefore finding a way to stay active and healthy is crucial,” she says. Vanessa also finds sports to be a great way to meet a lot of new people and create possible lasting relationships.

Someone that Vanessa admires is Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, Vanessa says, “she was the first athlete that I remember watching in the Paralympics and the first person that I had seen on that was similar to me.” Vanessa really admires McFadden’s commitment to track and her drive to succeed as a person. When Vanessa isn’t competing or training, her favorite off-season activity, is being outside. Whether it’s going Kayaking in the summers or skiing and snowboarding in the winter she is doing some form of activity.

Vanessa’s advice to those who are thinking about trying adaptive sports is “to reach out to your school gym teachers or coaches and ask if there are any adaptive programs,” she says. Vanessa also mentions for those that actually follow through and end up joining a team, don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask the older athletes for advice and help to show you how things are done.  

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Bloomington, MN

 

What makes Shane tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
I love Swimming

Why are sports important to you?
Friendships, competitions, sportsmanship

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Breaking or setting JR. national records and beating my personal best times

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
Dry land training and swim for 1 1/2 hours a day

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Warm up and then play tunes on my phone or social media

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Sled hockey and ice fishing, or fishing

Who do you admire most?
Michael Phelps

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Go to Para Olympics

What is your favorite quote:
“Just keep swimming”

What is your favorite food?
Macaroni and Cheese

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Go for it. There is nothing to lose and a ton to gain

 

Track & Field

Hometown: Loveland, OH

Sport: Track & Field

 

Rachel Steffen is a 15-year-old Track and Field athlete from Loveland, OH. Rachel first started adapted sports when she was only six years old. What piqued her interest was banner for the Cincinnati Icebreakers a sled hockey organization at her local hockey rink and she decided to join.

After participating in sled hockey, and meeting many people through the sport, she eventually found out about wheelchair track. Becoming very intrigued by the sport, she contacted the Columbus Rec Paralympic Sports Program and was able to borrow a racing chair, to try it out. She was then welcomed onto her high school track team, she explains she has been racing ever since.

After Rachel joined her high school team she has been able to Compete as a freshman in four of the events at the Ohio State Track meet. Rachel explains that some of her major accomplishments have been becoming a record holder for events at her high school. Rachel is also proud of “being the first seated athlete at my high school and in the girls Greater Cincinnati League (GGCL).” Sports are very important to Rachel, she says that with sports, she is able to exercise and stay healthy. “I am able to compete and push myself to get better.” Not only do sports build her drive to grow and achieve, but sports also allow Rachel to make new connections and friends with people from all over.

One connection that has made an impact on Rachel is Brooklynn Crist, a high school athlete from Wooster Ohio who played sled hockey for the Women’s Team USA. In 2019 Brooklynn placed first in two of the events at the Ohio State Track Meet. Rachel says that Brooklyn, “has encouraged me to do my best and work hard, she is a great teacher, very supportive and super sweet!” For those looking to pursue adapted sports like Rachel, her advice to you is to try something new, it isn’t as scary as it seems. “Get out there and just have fun with it!”

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine SkiingK. Taulman 2

Hometown: Steamboat Springs, CO

 

What makes Kyle tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Musical, competitive, nerdy

Why are sports important to you?
I think sports are important because they not only help to keep a person in shape, but with most sports even if it is a single person sport you are still part of team and you can build strong bonds with people. Also, you can grow stronger and have a great time doing it. That’s why sports are important to me.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
One of my favorite off-season activities is swimming competitively.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
I would tell them to go for it adaptive sports or just sports in general can change your life. Everyone has the ability participate in a sport and there are many people who’s lives are changed by it for the better.

Who do you admire most?
I admire Chris Devlin-Young for all of his accomplishments and how he is still very active after all these years.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I would want to travel to every country.

What is your favorite quote:
“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.”-Bill Gates

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is fish and chips

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Petersburg, IN

What makes Isaac tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

determined, persistent, compassionate

Why are sports important to you?

They give me a sense of accomplishment. When I’m in the water, it levels the playing field.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Being consistent with practice, also both of the swim teams I swim for are just regular teams. I go in knowing I probably won’t win, but it doesn’t stop me.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

30 minutes dry land three days a week, 1 to 1.5 hours in the water, 5 to 6 days a week. On Wed. I may not swim, but I meet my physical therapist at the Y and work out with her there.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Taking walks (I use my wheelchair) and drives with my Grandpa

Who do you admire most?

My Grandpa.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Going to the Australia Zoo

What is your favorite food?

Sushi

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Go for it! It’s so fun to be a part of competitions.

Basketball

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Wells, ME

 

Cross-Country Skiing

Sport: Cross-Country Skiing

Hometown: Drummond, WI

 

What makes George tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Confident, outgoing and committed

Why are sports important to you?
To show people that no matter what you can do what you set your mind to

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Getting on the E-team

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
On weekdays we practice after school til about half an hour after dark. Saturday is usually a fun day.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Warm up, pick out my after race snack

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Running

Who do you admire most?
My coach, Eric North

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Go to the Olympics

What is your favorite quote:
If you have never failed you have never lived

What is your favorite food?

Chili

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
You should a least give it a try. It is one of the most fun things ever. If you don’t give it a try you will never know what if feels like to ski down a big hill or run up a mountain.

Cross-Country Skiing

Sport: Cross-Country Skiing

Hometown: Drummond, WI

 

What makes Joe tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Smart, Likeable, Perseverant

Why are sports important to you?
Sports are fun because they keep me in shape and I get to hang out with my friends.  I also get top show other people with disabilities that what you have doesn’t stop you.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
My biggest accomplishment would have to be skiing a kortelopet on a closed trail

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
After school we go to our ski trails and train until it is too dark to see, and then we ski for another half an hour.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I warm up and say good luck to my team mates

What is your favorite off-season activity?
I like to bike and run on my off season

Who do you admire most?
I admire Pete Caron, my coach, because he always makes everything fun

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
To run a full marathon

What is your favorite quote:
My favorite quote is “Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you

What is your favorite food?

A good old hamburger

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
You should do them because everyone is supportive and caring, and will not laugh at you if you mess up

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Clovis, CA

 

What makes Shawn tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Competitive, shy, thoughtful

Why are sports important to you?

I love being challenged, I like being around my team mates because they challenge me, I like seeing new faces that are seeing for the first time that can also be an athlete despite their challenges.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Becoming the first para athlete in my school district and qualifying for the state championships after my very first meet.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

A trip to the gym to lift weights, going to the track to complete a structured work out

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Whatever is offered through our local adaptive sports program. I’m getting ready to start doing archery.

Who do you admire most?

My mom

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Going to the Paralympics

What is your favorite quote?

“Just One”

What is your favorite food?

Anything my mom makes

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Just do it. You never know until you try, never count yourself out.

 

 

Alpine Skiing

Sport: Alpine Skiing20151202_SkiSPecD2_220 Copy

Hometown: Steamboat Springs, CO

 

What makes Paige tick?

Describe yourself in three words.
Kind, cheerful, funny

Why are sports important to you?
They give me freedom

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Hanging out with friends

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Have confidence and be positive to yourself

Who do you admire most?
All of my coaches

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Surfing

What is your favorite quote:
“The only Disability in life is a bad attitude.” ~Scott Hamilton

What is your favorite food?
Everything you put in front of me

Swimming

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Lake St. Louis, MO

 

What makes Amaris tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words:
Outgoing, kind, swimmer

Why are sports important to you?
It makes me a stronger person

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Dive off the block

What does a typical day in your training program look like?
300 hundred warm up follow by various kick sets, and then my main set, finishing with a cool down of 200 backstroke

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I pray with my mom

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Biking, walking and jumping on my trampoline

Who do you admire most?
Besides my parents, my coach Kelly Behlmann who taught me how to swim

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Paralympics

What is your favorite quote:
“What does normal mean anyway?”

What is your favorite food?

Donuts

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Do it, it would change your life

Swimming

Sport: SwimmingS. Vilim

Hometown: Chicago, IL

 

What makes Sophia tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Intelligent, humorous, passionate

Why are sports important to you?
Sports are important to me because they are a good way to unwind after a long day. Also, they are a good place to direct my competitive side.

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Hanging out with my friends

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
I would say they should definitely go for it. They are so rewarding. They are also a great way to meet new people and have fun doing something you love.

Who do you admire most?
Mother Teresa

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
To travel to as many places around the world as I possibly can.

What is your favorite quote:
“Nothing is impossible; The word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” (Audrey Hepburn)

What is your favorite food?

Pasta

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Hometown: Portland, OR

Social Media: Instagram= @peyytonwalker

 

What makes  tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Dedicated, determined, loyal

Why are sports important to you?

They give me an opportunity to express myself in ways, that I wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to. They help me to embrace my disability rather than be embarrassed.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

My biggest accomplishment in wheelchair basketball is going to nationals in 2017. My prep team placed fifteenth in the USA.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

I practice every Saturday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. I go to the weight room at my school on some days to work on my strength, and I try my best to utilize any basketball courts that I can.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I have a t-shirt with my name and number on the back that I bring to every game and tournament, and wear it during warm-ups.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

I enjoy singing and acting, and trying out new activities, such as other adaptive sports or visual arts.

Who do you admire most?

A person that I look up to in my everyday life is Michelle Obama. She has inspired so many people, and empowered countless young girls, and I think she is someone who deserves to be admired.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Playing in the Paralympic Games.

What is your favorite quote?

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr Seuss

What is your favorite food?

Pasta

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Adaptive sports are a great way to help you express who are as a person and as athlete. Wheelchair basketball has changed my life, and provided me with so many opportunities that I never knew I could have.

Goalball

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Radford, VA

Track & Field

Sport: Track & FieldM. Wallace 2

Hometown: Shreveport, LA

 

What makes Matthew tick?

Describe yourself in three words:
Funny, outgoing, friendly

Why are sports important to you?
Sports help me to set goals

What is your favorite off-season activity?
I like to play wheelchair basketball and be with friends

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?
Do it! You’ll meet lots of new friends.

Who do you admire most?
David Weir

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
See the Paralympics.

What is your favorite quote:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What is your favorite food?

Hot wings

Snowboard

Sport: Snowboard

Hometown: Centennial, CO

Goalball

IMG_2832Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Pelham, AL

 

What makes Josh tick?

 

What is your favorite off-season activity?
Snowboarding

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Sky Diving

What is your favorite food?
Steak

Sled Hockey

Sport: Goalball

Hometown: Exton, PA

What makes Matthew tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Handsome, athletic, funny

Why are sports important to you?

Fun and get to compete with kids like me

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Having a 5 point game 2 goals and 3 assists

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Laps on the ice to warm up, drills with team mates, scrimmage

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

No

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Playing other sports

Who do you admire most?

My Dad

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Playing sled hockey for team USA

What is your favorite quote?

“If your not first your last”

What is your favorite food?

Steak

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

I would say go for it. It is so much fun and you get to learn and do a lot.

Alpine Skiing / Track & Field

Sport: Alpine Skiing / Track & Field

Hometown: Chippewa Falls, WI

 

Snowboarding

Sport: Snowboarding

Hometown: Rocky Mount, NC

Instagram: @thomasthesurfer

 

 

Thomas Wilson is a determined, kind, and hardworking teenager who tackles numerous adaptive sports. Whether its rock climbing, sailing, skiing, swimming, wakeboarding, or surfing, he believes in putting his mind to it and a strong drive behind it. He relates a feeling of freedom to the outdoors when skiing saying, “sports are my outlet for me to get away from the rest of the world…it’s just you and the snowboard underneath your feet.”

With a team gold medal in an International Surfing Association adaptive surfing competition already under his belt, his dreams do not stop there.  Outside of his goal of competing in the Beijing 2022 Paralympics, Thomas hopes to be on the first Paralympic surf team. For athletes thinking about trying adaptive sports, Thomas says, “go for it! You will never regret getting out and having fun.” He seems to be taking his own advice!

Sam Winter started playing sled hockey when he was 12 years old through a camp held in North Dakota and he knew he had found his passion. Sam had a stroke when he was born and was initially told he would never walk – fast forward to today and Sam is nicknamed “Superman Sam” due to his speed on the ice and track! During the 2019 Junior Nationals, Sam took first place in all of his events in his class and age group, even breaking some of his own national records he set at Desert Challenge Games! Sam credits adaptive sports with opening up a new world for him – new dreams, goals, purpose, and friends!

Sam’s long term goals include continuing to be an encouraging example to other athletes with disabilities while having his eyes set on the Paralympics – in both Sled Hockey and Track & Field! Sam’s advice for anyone looking to pursue adaptive sports, “Never quit!! Never give up!! Keep working hard and doing your best – your hard work is worth it!”

 

 

 

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Land O Lakes, FL

Nicholas Witowski is a 15-year-old Sled Hockey athlete in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. Nicholas began playing Sled Hockey when he was only seven years old when his mom happened to be given a flyer for a local sled hockey event where people could come and test it out. Nicholas said, “I tried it and I was hooked.”

Since that day Nicholas has made some big accomplishments in sled hockey. In 2018 when he was selected to participate in the invitation-only 2018 USA Hockey Sled Select Development Camp, and he was invited to attend again for this year’s 2019 session. Another major accomplishment for him was “participating in the 2019 USA Hockey National Development team tryouts,” he said.

This led him to his team the Space Coast Blast and their win in the 2019 USA Hockey Disabled Sled Hockey Festival Tier 1 Youth Championship. Nicholas said, “Sports motivate me in a way that shows I am as equally athletic as others.”

Nicholas also takes notes from other athletes in the community like Declan Farmer, who grew up without legs, Nicholas makes a point that “he did not let this stop Declan from playing sports and becoming a multi-gold medal-winning Paralympian.” Nicholas also wants to let people know who are thinking about perusing adapted sports “Don’t be afraid, don’t give up…” he said, “With practice, you can become one of the best.”

 

 

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Clovis, CA

Instagram: @teamwong12

 

Bethany Wong is a 14-year-old track and field athlete from Clovis, California. Bethany first started adapted sports when she was 11 years old, she explains that she was invited by her local children’s Hospital to an adapted sports event. Since that first initiation to adapted sports, she has been a part of them ever since. Especially in track and field, she has been able to grow and accomplish a lot within a short amount of time within the sport.

One achievement she is most proud of is “holding national adaptive sports records in track and field,” she says. Another she is proud of, was being really close to making the cuts for the emerging team. Bethany also explains that she found achievements in making friends with other para-athletes during the events, also a feeling that she has contributed to the adaptive sports cause by participating. Sports for Bethany are very important she says, “Sports give me an opportunity to focus and display ability and to take the focus off of disability.” Bethany continues by explaining how “Sports allow me to show others that Limbs are overrated!” she says.

When Bethany is in her off season from track and field, she likes to participate in other sports like gymnastics tumbling and dance; specifically ballet. Bethany wants those who are trying out adapted sports for the first time, to know “not to let fear or doubt get in the way of trying.” Also, when finally finding that sport that you love Bethany says, “You have to be creative in figuring out how to be the best athlete you can be.”

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: Chambersburg, PA

What makes Joseph tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Athletic, patriotic, outgoing

Why are sports important to you?

Sports are important to me because it allows me to be physical and play on a team like everyone else.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Being asked to attend Sled Select Camp.

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

My training days differ. On days I am going to the hockey rink, I work on school work, then do a hockey workout, and then back to school work. On team practice days I travel to practice which is a fair distance soon to change. Days I home I work on weight training, flexibility, eye-hand coordination and shooting drills.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Listening to my playlist.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Hunting and fishing.

Who do you admire most?

The late Coach Sauer.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Making the USA Paralympic Sled Hockey Team.

What is your favorite quote?

“Never give up.”

What is your favorite food?

Steak

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Try it, anyone can do it. You’ll try something new, you can be competitive, meet new people, be active, and may find that something that has been missing in your life.

Penn Live: Sled Hockey Showcase in Boston Next Stop for Inspired Palmyra Black Knights

The Record Herald: Sled Hockey: Joseph Yarish Headed to camp in New York

Sled Hockey

Sport: Sled Hockey

Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL

 

What makes Kasey tick?

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Competitive, determined, funny

Why are sports important to you?

I can hangout with my teammates and it’s fun. I can score goals to help my team win!

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Winning the 2018 Disability Festival Tier V Championship playing with adults!

What does a typical day in your training program look like?

Normally two hours on the ice doing drills at least once a week.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Warm ups…mess around with teammates.

What is your favorite off-season activity?

Using my hand cycle

Who do you admire most?

Chris Douglas

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?

Making it to the Paralympics

What is your favorite quote?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!” – Wayne Gretzky

What is your favorite food?

Spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports?

Don’t give up. Give it time to adapt.

https://www.nhl.com/video/-/t-277350912/c-51026003

Track & Field

Sport: Track & Field

Hometown: Nashville, TN

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