It’s Official… 2016 Rio De Janeiro Paralympics Inaugurates “ParaTriathlon”

In Sports

It’s official. “ParaTriathlon” has been accepted to be a part of the Paralympics. The 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro will be the inaugural year for the sport of ParaTriathlon. Sweeeet!

A “triathlon” is a multi-sport event consisting of 3 sequential endurance sports. Although variations exist, the majority of triathlons involve swimming, cycling, and running, always in non-stop rapid succession.

A “para triathlon” involves the same sequential competition, although adaptive modifications are used to accommodate physical disabilities. For example, I’m paralyzed and therefore in a wheelchair. The swimming part is the exact same, except I can’t use my legs while swimming. I use a hand-cycle for the cycling stage, and a racing wheelchair for the running stage.

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a Paratriathlon clinic in Orlando, FL. The clinic was put on by coaches from the US ParaTriathlon team. The coaches discussed each discipline (swimming, hand-cycling, racing wheelchair) in depth. They also explained how important nutrition is when training for a triathlon. Ultimately, the purpose was to encourage disabled athletes to get involved with the relatively new sport of paratriathlons. And most importantly, to add athletes to the 2016 Paralympic pipeline of eligible athletes.

Well, the clinic inspired my, and I’ve been busting my ass training ever since. Even signed up for a Nationally ranked USA Triathlon in Buffalo, NY called THE NICKEL CITY TRIATHLON. It’s a 750 meter (.5 mile) swim, followed by a 13 kilometer handcycle ride,followed by a 5k racing wheelchair “run”. Figure if I can survive the swim I should be alright.

Below is a picture from the clinic. The little girl is my new favorite person in the world!

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