The 2016 Paralympics Games are officially underway with athletes from around the world gathered to compete at the highest level. The Games are an incredible showcase of athletic ability and are fueled by inspiring stories of courage and determination.
The Opening Ceremonies celebrated the connection between the human spirit and technology — an important component at the Paralympics Games. Following the ceremony, competition kicked off for 289 American athletes in 21 different sports.
During the first week of competition, Team WSF has had tremendous success earning medals, making it into the finals and there are still plenty more events to come. The Games continue through September 18.
On the water, Travel & Training grantee Jenny Sichel helped cox her LTA Mixed Coxed Four to a silver medal. Travel & Training grantee Michelle Konkoly made a splash Monday night winning gold in the women’s S9 100-meter freestyle event and broke the world record with a time of 1:00.91. The U.S. Equestrian Team got off to a strong start with Travel & Training Fund recipient Sydney Collier, Grade Lb, competing in the first of two tests and helping to push the United States into third place.
2015 Wilma Rudolph Courage Award winner Tatyana McFadden has already picked up two medals: a silver in the women’s 100m-T54 and a gold in the women’s 400m. Melissa Stockwell, a fellow Courage honoree, earned a bronze medal in the paratriathlon on Sunday.
Jennifer Poist and Desiree Miller, both Travel & Training grantees as well as teammates for the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, have dominated the competition as they are currently 3-0 in pool play and the only team left with an unblemished record.
Travel & Training grantee Tricia Downing became the United States’ first female pistol shooter at the Paralympic Games. Fellow shooter and Travel & Training grantee Tammy Delano represented USA Shooting in the women’s R2-10m Rifle Standing and the mixed R3-10m Air Rifle.
The USA Volleyball Women’s National Sitting Team, another recipient of the Fund, is currently 3-1 and hopes to continue its streak as the Games continue. The USA Women’s Goalball Team with Travel & Training grantee Marybai Huking has been successful throughout preliminaries and is looking forward to the start of quarterfinals on Wednesday, September 14.
Can’t get enough of the Paralympics? There is still plenty more to come as athletes will be swimming, paddling, leaping and sliding their way to reach the top of the podium in Rio. Stay tuned to all WSF social media accounts and catch the action live on TeamUSA.org, NBCSN and NBC.
Photo © USA Volleyball