2012 Paralympics Recap for Team USA

Parent Category: News

CONGRATS to the 28 medalists and 52 Finalists!

What a great Games! The Brits filled the stadium every session and the energy was exciting and at times almost overwhelming. With a sell-out crowd at every session, the noise was deafening each and every time a British athlete competed. It was a true test for our young team; only 18 out of our 54 athletes had previous Paralympic Games experience, which will help us in the future. Just as exciting is having 52 finalists, we just needed to convert more finalist to medalists.


NINE GOLD MEDALS

We made a lot of noise with our performances in the stadium as well. “Sugar Ray” Martin (T52) and Tatyana “The Beast” McFadden (T54) dominated their classes.
Ray pulled off a quad gold sweep taking Gold in the 100,200, 400 and 800 meters in his first Paralympic Games experience. His prelim time in the 100m was 16.79 with a final of 17.02. In the 200m, he got close to his World Record of 30.18 with a time of 30.25, which was a new Paralympic Record. Ray raced a 58.54 to win the 400m almost two seconds ahead of his competitors. The 800m was a different question as Tomoya Ito of Japan fought for the lead with Ray, but Ray picked up the Gold with a .28 second win.

Tatyana almost matched Ray with Gold medal performances in the 400, 800, 1500 and captured a bronze in the 100. She established a new PR in the 400m with a time of 52.97. She dominated the field in the 800m winning almost three seconds. In the 1500, it was a little closer and it was the one race she worried about the most, but in the end Tatyana picked up her third Gold defeating Edith Wolf of Switzerland.

Jeremy Campbell (F44) had an amazing performance pulling out the Gold in his fourth throw in a very hostile environment. His 60.05 throw finished off one of the greatest seasons ever for a USA Thrower. This throw was a new Paralympic Record.

Shirley Reilly (T53) won the final Track and Field event of the Games taking the Women’s Marathon on a tough and very challenging course to add Gold to the USA total. It was a close victory after 26 miles with four athletes within .02 seconds of each other. The winning time of 1:46:33 tells just how challenging the course was.


SIX SILVER MEDALS

Jeff Skiba (F44) took Silver in a hotly contested High Jump against the Polish jumper. Jeff is one of the most solid HJ competitors of all time, but put himself in a tight spot with his opening jump of 1.95m as he missed his first two jumps. Jeff regained his form to finish up with a 2.04m jump and silver.
Shirley Reilly (T53) started the meet with Silver in the 5,000m. Shirley was a victim of a crash in the preliminary round. It was a serious one as Shirley came completely out of her chair and in the infield and managed to crawl back into her chair and finish the race with the qualifying time. The difference between Gold and Silver was a minute .04 seconds.

Lex Gillette (F11) captured the Silver on his 5th jump in the Long Jump with a 6.34m leap. He had three jumps over six meters. The lead in the LJ changed regularly throughout the competition and made it an exciting one to watch.

Shaquille Vance (T42) ran to a Silver medal and new American and Regional Record in the 200 meters with a 25.55. Shaquille had the lead through most of the race until at the 180m mark when Richard Whitehead (GBR) came up to take the Gold. This was Shaq’s first Paralympic Games.

Richard Browne (T44) surprised the field with an 11.03 personal record in the 100m and captured the Silver. Richard had a blistering start and maintained from start to finish in his first Paralympic Games.
Blake Leeper (T43) came from behind to grab the Silver in the Men’s 400m race with a new Regional Record of 50.14. This was a personal record and American record for Blake. It was an exciting race as two American were fighting it out for the medals. This was Blake’s first Paralympic experience.
THIRTEEN BRONZE MEDALS

Kerry Morgan (T52) brought home two bronze medals. The first bronze was in the 100m with a time of 20.68 and the second bronze in the 200m with a time of 36.49. Kerry has had a solid two years of great performances both at Worlds and now at the Games.

David Prince (T44) set a new PR, Regional and World record for the T44 class in the 400m with a time of 50.61 in his first Games. The old WR was held by Jim Bob Bizzell, so it was sweet that the record stayed with the USA. David’s story is one of overcoming adversity after having major knee surgery in December to coming back and capturing a medal and a new World record.

Jessica Galli (T53), the most decorated female USA track and field athlete, captured her seventh Games medal in the 800m with a bronze. Jessie went 1:53.12 in the 800. Jessica has earned 11 medals at World Championships. She leaves a strong legacy in Track and Field as she is the current World Record Holder in the 200,400 and 800 meters.

Paul Nitz (T52) captured the Bronze in the 100m. Paul had a good start and held a steady pace to earn the bronze in a time of 17.99. His prelim time was slightly better with a 17.11. This is the Paul’s fifth Games and his fourth time to win a medal in the 100m.

Blake Leeper (T43) with a dive to the finish line in the 200m finished 3rd. His time was 22.46 with a prelim qualifying time of 22.23. He was .03 ahead of Arnu Fourie of South Africa.

Scot Severn (F53) an Army Veteran, threw 8.26m to grab a Bronze medal. In a very close competition, Scot threw .03cm further than Ales Kisy of Czech Republic. This was Scot’s first medal in two Paralympic Games.

Angela Madsen (T56) a Marine Veteran, earned a bronze in the Women’s Shot with a toss of 8.88. Angela is in her first Paralympic Games with Track and Field as she had previously been with Rowing.

Josh George (T53) took third in the 800m race as four athletes were within .70 of each other. Josh led most of the race and Richard Coleman of Australia made a bold move at the top of the last curve to come out of the pack. Josh held him off for about 30m to finish a strong third.

April Holmes (T44) one of the most influential women in Paralympic Track and Field finished the 100m in 13.33 to take home a bronze after claiming Gold in every Games since 1996. Her longevity in the sport at such a high level of competitiveness is unmatched.

Zena Cole (T51) set a new Regional Record in the Discus with a toss of 5.25m to take the Bronze. This is Zena’s second medal in international competition having taken bronze in Christchurch. This is her first Games experience.

Shirley Reilly (T54) went home with a complete collection of medals with Gold, Silver and a Bronze. The bronze came in the 1500m as Shirley went 3:37.03 in a very tight race. Her timing was impeccable this Games for surging at the correct moment.

Tatyana McFadden (T54) in the 100m captured a bronze. The Chinese dominated this event with some of the fastest starts ever. Tatyana made up ground, but the race was too short for her to move up in the medals. Her 100m time was 16.15.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Cassie Mitchell (T/F52) finished fourth in every event she competed in—100, 200 and Discus.

Jordan Bird finished 6th in the 800 after the French athlete crashed into him, brought him to a complete stop and flatted his tire. Jordan raced an amazing 1:40.17 for 600m on a flat tire.


WORLD RECORDS

Kristen Messer (T33) in the 100 meters re-set her own record with a 21.59 and a 6th place finish as she competed against the 34 class.

David Prince (T44) in the 400 meters broke Jim Bob Bizzell’s record going 50.61 and finishing third in the combined 43/44 class.


HOW DID WE COMPARE IN TRACK AND FIELD?

China was dominant once again with 86 total medals.

Russia came on strong with 36 total medals.

Great Britain appeared to have a great meet and finished with 29 medals.

USA finished one medal behind GB with 28 medals for fourth.

Australia was one behind us with 27 total Track and Field medals.

54 countries earned a medal at these Games.


2008 vs. 2012

The USA earned the same number of Golds with 9 as the 2008 team.


Overall medals- 2012 finish with the same exact number of medals as the 2008 team.