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GRETSCH Kendall
Sport Para athletics, Para biathlon, Para cross-country, Para swimming, Para Triathlon
NPC United States   
GenderWomen
Age27
Place of BirthDowners Grove, IL, USA
Height1.53 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
LW11.5
Further Personal Information
Residence
Madison, WI, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Biomedical Science - Washington University in St. Louis: United States
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para swimming and Para triathlon in 2012 in Chicago, IL, United States of America. She first tried Para Nordic skiing in 2016 at the Central Cross Country Ski Association in Madison, WI, United States of America.
Why this sport?
"It was good cross-training for Para triathlon."
Training Regime
She trains four times a week, for around two-and-a-half hours a day.
Senior International Debut
Year
2017
Competing for
United States
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning two gold medals at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
Her teammates. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
US Para Nordic skier Oksana Masters. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2015 and 2018 she was shortlisted in the Best Female Athlete with Disability category at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly [ESPY] Awards in the United States of America. (fasterskier.com, 11 Sep 2018; paralympic.org, 22 Jun 2018)

She was named the 2014 Female Para Triathlete of the Year by USA Triathlon. (fasterskier.com, 11 Sep 2018)
Other sports
She represented the United States of America in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, claiming gold in both sports. She has also competed in Para triathlon, winning gold in the PT1 category at the world championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. (SportsDeskOnline, 07 Jan 2019; wts.triathlon.org, 25 Jun 2017; tri.com, 03 Mar 2015)
Milestones
She became the first female athlete representing the United States of America to win a gold medal in biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Games by claiming victory in the 6km sitting event at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 05 Dec 2018; pyeongchang2018.com, 10 Mar 2018)
Ambitions
To compete in triathlon at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (teamusa.org, 02 Jan 2019)
Impairment
She was born with spina bifida. (triathlon.org, 20 Nov 2015)
Other information
MULTI TALENTED
She is a three-time world champion in Para triathlon, but she started looking for a new sport after discovering her category would not be part of the programme at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She took up Para Nordic skiing during the 2015/16 season, and went on to win gold in both biathlon and cross-country skiing at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. "I wanted to find another sport where I would have the chance to go to the Paralympics. I think this one [Para Nordic skiing] has been the tougher sport for me to pick up. I think triathlon came a little bit more naturally to me. It's a tough sport and I loved it just being outside and being able to ski. I think that's one thing that I like between the two sports is that you are travelling around the world and you get to race in beautiful venues." (paralympic.org, 07 Feb 2019, 13 Jul 2018)

OCCUPATION
She works as technical support for a company that provides health care software to hospitals and other medical facilities. (teamusa.org, 24 Aug 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para biathlon
Rank Year Event Result
1 2018 6km Sprint - Sitting 22:46.7
4 2018 10km Middle - Sitting 46:28.5
8 2018 12.5km Individual - Sitting 52:59.2
Paralympic Games - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
1 2018 12km - Sitting 39:51.6
Semifinal 2018 Sprint - Sitting 4:33.4
6 2018 5km - Sitting 18:30.8
7 2018 4 x 2.5km Relay Mixed 26:07.6
World Championships - Para biathlon
Rank Year Event Result
2 2018/2019 10km Middle - Sitting 42:23.9
2 2018/2019 6km Sprint - Sitting 22:45.2
1 2018/2019 12.5km Individual - Sitting 47:29.4
World Championships - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
2 2018/2019 5km - Sitting 17:05.0
3 2018/2019 Sprint - Sitting  
2 2018/2019 12km - Sitting 44:46.4
World Championships - Para Triathlon
Rank Year Event Result
1 2014 PT1 1:21:32
1 2015 PT1 1:13:29
1 2016 PT1 1:18:04
World Ranking (2018/01/01) - Para Triathlon
Rank Year Event Result
13 2018 PTWC  
17 2018 PTWC  
17 2018 PTWC