After 12 days of non-stop action, the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games have officially come to a close. If there’s one thing the Paralympic Games never fall short of, it’s inspiration. The motto of the Paralympics is “spirit in motion” and as we watched this year’s athletes compete that spirit and energy could certainly be felt.
From Opening Ceremonies to Closing, the Women’s Sports Foundation could not be prouder of our Team WSF athletes. This summer 289 Paralympians competed for Team USA and the Foundation was represented by an impressive 15 individual athletes and one team competing across a variety of disciplines. It was also another standout performance from the American women as they earned more than half of Team USA’s medals.
Team USA finished having completed its most successful performance at the Games in recent history and our Team WSF athletes made terrific contributions to that success. Here are the Team WSF highlights:
- Travel & Training Fund (T&T) grant recipient Marybai Huking contributed to the U.S. Women’s Goalball Team’s first podium finish since 2004 winning a bronze.
- T&T grantees Desiree Miller and Jennifer Poist helped the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team reach the podium for the first time since 1996 claiming a gold medal.
- WSF Board of Trustees member, Alana Nichols, continued to inspire as she competed in her third sport at her fifth Paralympic Games; and reached the finals in the women’s KL2 sprint kayak race.
- 2015 Wilma Rudolph Courage Award recipient Tatyana McFadden had another outstanding Paralympics performance as she won four gold and two silver medals in Track & Field.
- T&T grantee and swimmer Michelle Konkoly won gold and set a Paralympic record in the 50m freestyle – S9 event.
- Jennifer Sichel, a T&T grantee, helped cox her boat to silver in the LTA Mixed Coxed Four.
- The Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team, a T&T recipient, brought home the gold.
- Melissa Stockwell, 2013 Wilma Rudolph Courage Award recipient, earned a bronze medal in the paratriathlon.
We are incredibly proud of every athlete who competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games and for continuing to inspire the world with their determination and grit. The tears, sweat and hard work poured into these Games was profound to watch and be a part of. Congratulations to all for an incredible summer and we cannot wait for Tokyo 2020!