Sunday, November 6, 2016


The fourth sport that I will cover in my blog series is the Paratriathlon. The triathlon was invented in the early 1970s by the San Diego Track Club, as an alternative workout to the rigours of track training.3 Paratriathlon is a variation of a triathlon for athletes with physical disabilities.5 The International Triathlon Union (ITU) governs the sport and was first held as a Paralympic event in the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Paratriathlon consist of a 750 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike ride (either hand bike or tandem), 5 kilometer run (either with mechanical legs or a wheelchair.3

The ITU revised the Paratriathlon classification system in preparation for the 2016 Paralympics. As of October 2014 there are five classifications; PT1-PT5 (PT meaning Paratriathlon). PT1 through PT4 are athletes with mobility impairments such as muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis. PT5 are athletes with a visual impairment. These classifications are also on a point system starting from 495 to 640. Depending on where you land in the assessment, you are placed in PT1 through PT4 unless you are blind, which you would be placed in PT5.6

In the 2016 games, Team USA brought three men and nine women.4 Grace Norman won the gold medal at the games. She finished the race in one hour, ten minutes, and thirty nine seconds.2 Grace is from Morgantown, West Virginia and now lives in Jamestown, Ohio. She is currently in high school at Xenia Christian High School. She was diagnosed with congenital constriction band syndrome of the left leg at birth.4 Her disability put her in the PT4 classification.2  In the past she has won gold in the 2014 USA Paratriathlon National Championship, silver in the 2015 ITU Paratriathlon World Championship, and she is the current 2016 ITU Paratriathlon World Champion.4


1Games, T. i. (2015, April 14). History. Retrieved from Triathlon in the Olympic Games:

2IPC. (2016, September 11). Triathlon. Retrieved from Rio 2016 Paralympic Games:

3Paratriathlon. (2016, August 22). Paratriathlon. Retrieved from Paratriathlon:

4USA, T. (2016). Grace Norman. Retrieved from Team USA:

5Wikipedia. (2016, September 15). Parathriathlon. Retrieved from Wikipedia:

6Wikipedia. (2016, September 9). Paratriathlon Classification. Retrieved from Wikipedia:

1 comment:

  1. Good article! I believe that the athletes that compete in the paratriathlon are truly great athletes. Inspirational!