5 Awesome Paralympians We're Obsessing Over

After a yearlong delay, all eyes are on the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer...finally! There is nothing more exciting than rooting for your country or favorite athlete to win a gold medal. And with the Paralympics kicking off on August 24th, we already have some Paralympians who we will be following very closely!

These Paralympic athletes represent some of the best of what our world has to offer. Each of these athletes are dedicated to their sport and dream of taking home a gold medal this year, and we can't wait to see them do it! If you are as obsessed with the upcoming Paralympics as we are, be sure to follow along with the journeys of these five Paralympic athletes:

Cassie Mitchell (USA)

Cassie Mitchell

After being paralyzed and having permanent vision damage from a rare autoimmune disease at the age of 18, Cassie Mitchell got into wheelchair sports. She played wheelchair basketball in college, but due to the progressive nature of her disease, she had to change sports prior to her first Paralympics in London in 2012. Cassie will be competing in her third Paralympics this year in Tokyo. In 2016, she won a silver medal and a bronze medal, but she hopes to grab gold this year. Look for her to compete in the discuss and club throwing events.

David Wagner (USA)

David Wagner

The Tokyo Paralympics will be the fifth Paralympic Games for David Wagner. He has previously competed in Athens, Beijing, London, and Rio de Janeiro, winning gold medals multiple times. Prior to becoming paralyzed, David was a collegiate-level tennis player. After becoming paralyzed, he realized that he could still play the game he loved, but in a different way. Today, he is one of the best wheelchair tennis players in the world and we are excited to hopefully see him add another gold metal to his impressive collection of laurels.

Diede de Groot (The Netherlands)

Diede de Groot

At only 24 years old, Diede de Groot has already had a remarkable career in wheelchair tennis. She has competed and won in major competitions like the US Open and Wimbledon, and even placed silver in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. In Tokyo this year, she's on a mission to win gold and we have no doubt that it will happen. Her wheelchair tennis journey began at the age of seven, so she certainly has the determination and plenty of practice.

Patrick Anderson (Canada)

Patrick Anderson

When Patrick Anderson was only nine years old, he had to have both of his legs amputated below the knee, but he quickly discovered a love for wheelchair basketball the next year. Since then, Patrick has undoubtedly become the "King of Wheelchair Basketball" and is perhaps the greatest wheelchair basketball player ever. His first Paralympic Games were in the year 2000, and he has won numerous gold medals since then. Can he do it again in Tokyo? We'll definitely be watching to find out.

Teresa Perales (Spain)

Teresa Perales

This year will be Teresa Perales's sixth Paralympic Games. She has competed in the Paralympics since 2000 and has won 26 medals, including seven golds! Teresa has used a wheelchair since the age of 19 and has had a passion for swimming since then. When she is not in the water, she is an advocate for the Paralympics and encourages future generations to try adaptive sports. We are immensely looking forward to seeing how she does in Tokyo!

While these athletes are in no way the only Paralympians worth keeping an eye on, they are some of our favorites and the ones that we'll be following very closely. Whether you are a sports fanatic or not, the Paralympics are a time to celebrate the incredible abilities of people with disabilities. Be sure to tune in and cheer for your favorite athlete!

Are there any other Paralympians that you're following? Be sure to let us know! We'd love to hear your suggestions.

About the Author

Cory Lee

After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee's thirst for adventure never ceased. He went on many trips around the U.S. when he was younger, and then started taking things internationally when he turned 15. Since then, Cory has traveled to 21 countries across six continents, all while managing to start up his travel blog Curb Free with Cory Lee, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not-so-accessible travel adventures with others. Cory is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, in a nationwide segment for CBS News, Lonely Planet, and many others. His blog won the 2017 Best Travel Blog Gold Lowell Thomas Award. He hopes to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty that the world has to offer.

Cory Lee's ride is a Quickie Q700 M.

Most of the stories here on LiveQuickie.com were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.

Date: 8/16/2021 12:00:00 AM

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