Female triathlete with left leg amputation celebrates as she crosses the finish line

Allysa Seely


Allysa Seely has gone undefeated in every ITU race she has completed in the last two seasons. She expects to continue that in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the 2019 Grand Final, where she can defend her PTS2 world title.

Seely flew under the triathlon radar until she landed her first major victory at the 2015 Grand Final in Chicago, USA. The gold medals have kept coming since, especially when she won the first Paralympic gold in her class at Rio 2016. 

Seely was upset by Finland’s Liisa Lilja at the following year’s Grand Final in Rotterdam, Netherlands. But she has since turned around the results, looking unstoppable. Her only exception was the 2019 World Cup in Tokyo, Japan, which was also a Test Event for the 2020 Paralympics. The race was converted to a duathlon, which Seely did not finish. 

Seely was part of the Arizona State University triathlon club and a nationally ranked able-bodied triathlete before her diagnosis in 2010 with Chiari II Malformation, basilar invagination, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affect her brain, spine, and connective tissues. 

Several weeks after her first surgery, she returned to triathlons. She made her debut as an elite Para triathlete in 2012, earning bronze at the World Championships that year. Then in 2013, Seely had her left leg amputated below the knee due to complications and increased spasticity in her foot. That changed her classification but did not stop her from podium finished, earning her first Worlds title in 2015.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Phoenix, AZ, USA
Motivational Speaker
Higher education
Psychology - Arizona State University: Tempe, AZ, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She competed in her first triathlon in September 2008. After her illness she took part in her first event in April 2011.
Why this sport?
In her first year of university she decided instead of making a New Year's resolution she would make it her goal to do something every year she had never done before. Her first choice was competing in a triathlon, and she immediately fell in love with endurance sports. Following her illness she was determined to resume competing.
Name of coach
Mark Sortino [national]
Training Regime
She trains for between 15 and 35 hours a week. She swims every day, and does running and cycling sessions four or five times a week.

General interest

Polly Pocket (, 30 Jun 2011)
Hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, teaching dance, cooking, reading scientific journals, DIY projects. (Facebook page, 21 Aug 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If you have a dream and a desire to do it, you'll find a way to make it happen." (, 23 Mar 2012)
Other sports
She has represented the United States in America in Para athletics. She finished sixth in the T36 100m and T36 200m at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, ON, Canada. (SportsDeskOnline, 17 Dec 2015)
At age 20 she was diagnosed with Chiari II malformation, basilar invagination and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, meaning that a portion of her brain had herniated into the spinal column and bent the brain stem. She had brain and spinal surgery, and after months of treatment was able to walk again. However the lasting effects of the condition led to a deterioration in the condition of her left foot, and her left leg was amputated below the knee in August 2013. She also has epilepsy as a result of the illness. (, 05 Jul 2016;, 05 Aug 2014;, 2014)
Other information
She has a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies, psychology, and exercise and wellness from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, United States of America. She also has a bachelor of science in biology, genetics, and cell and developmental biology from the same university. In 2009 she studied human genetics at Leeds University in England. (LinkedIn profile, 2013)


Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women PT2 Final Round 2016-09-11 1
Women's 200 m T36 Heat 1 2016-09-12 4
Women's 200 m T36 Final Round 2016-09-13 6