Growing up, sports were my passion. Active in every team sport available to me, I had dreams of becoming an Olympian. However, those dreams came to a screeching halt when, at age 12, I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my left leg. A year of chemotherapy and many surgeries saved my life, but left me with a leg that was functionless. In an effort to reclaim my life and go back to the active lifestyle I once had, I made the decision to have my leg amputated above the knee when I was 14.
Six years later, I signed up for my first triathlon despite no formal background in swimming, cycling or running (a testament to the power of positive peer pressure). I immediately fell in love with the challenges the sport presented and the empowerment it brought to my life.
In 2012, just one year after my first race, I began competing on the ITU (International Triathlon Union) elite paratriathlon circuit. I won my first World Championship in 2013, and soon thereafter, dedicated myself to qualifying for the Paralympic Games in Rio, where triathlon would be making its paralympic debut.
I left my job at a nonprofit organization to pursue training full-time, temporarily relocated my life to get the most out of my training, and put myself in situations that would maximize my athletic growth. All of those decisions paid off when, on September 11, 2016, my childhood dream was realized. I raced my way to a silver medal at the Paralympic Triathlon in Rio, a culminating moment of the most fulfilling journey of my life.
I believe that there is no finish line, and am constantly looking for new opportunities to become a stronger athlete. Through my training and racing, I strive to change society’s expectations of para-athletes, redefine what the human body is capable of, and become the best version of myself.
2016 Paralympic Silver Medalist
1 x ITU World Championship Gold Medalist (2013)
4 x ITU World Championship Silver Medalist (2012, 2104, 2015)
1 x ITU World Championship Bronze Medalist (2016)
5 x ITU World Cup Gold Medalist
World Record holder for the 400m (T42 classification)
World Record holder for the marathon (above knee amputees)
First American paratriathlete to qualify for the Paralympic Games
Hometown: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Current city: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Education: Northwestern University, Bachelor’s in Human Development (2013)
Coach: Derick Williamson
Favorite discipline: Bike
Favorite workout: Triple brick (3 x (5 mile bike, 1 mile run) at race pace)
Favorite country visited: New Zealand
Hobbies: Trail running, downhill skiing, reading, psychology, brunch, coffee
Foods I eat daily: Tacos, brussel sprouts, arugula, salmon, sweet potatoes, beets, avocados, Trader Joe’s bran flakes
Things I can’t travel without: My french press, Colectivo coffee beans, RecoveryPump boots, a lacrosse ball, iPad loaded with books
Hidden talents: Bop-it, knowledge of state capitals, creating culinary masterpieces at salad bars
Childhood aspiration: Astronaut
Dream job: I’m doing it!