Page back
Sport Para athletics
NPC United States   
Place of BirthOmaha, NE, USA
Height1.50 m
Weight 44 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Further Personal Information
Husband Eric Madsen, daughters Reese and Malayna
Other names
Cheri Becerra
Union, NE, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 1994 at a regional competition in Kansas, United States of America.
Why this sport?
A teacher from school introduced her to wheelchair racing.
Name of coach
Wendy Gumbert, USA, 2013
Training Regime
She trains at the high school track in Nebraska City, United States of America.
Senior International Debut
Competing for
United States
Paralympic Games
Atlanta, GA, USA
General Interest
Scrapbooking, reading, watching her daughters compete in sports. (, 19 Sep 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Setting three world records and winning two golds and one silver at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, and claiming silver at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 28 Sep 2017)
Most influential person in career
Her family. (Athlete, 28 Sep 2017)
Hero / Idol
US wheelchair racer Jean Driscoll. (Athlete, 28 Sep 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Champions are made during the off-season." (Athlete, 28 Sep 2017)
She has paraplegia as the result of the effects of a virus contracted at age three. (Athlete, 28 Sep 2017;, 02 May 2013)
Other information
She retired from athletics following her appearance at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney. However, she returned to the sport competitively in 2013. "I was only 24 when I stopped because I wanted to have a family. I was always kind of hoping to get back into it. My younger brother and father were killed in a train accident. When I started racing my little brother was [age] three and he travelled everywhere with me. He was always wanting me to get back into racing. He was a big motivation for me to get back into it." (Athlete, 28 Sep 2017;, 01 Jul 2013)

She featured in a documentary entitled 'The Cheri Becerra Story: God Made Her for this Sport' in which film crews followed her during her 1996 Olympic and Paralympic pursuits. (, 11 Aug 2015)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 1996 100m T53 16.74 
2 1996 200m T53 29.64 
3 1996 400m T53 57.15 
3 1996 800m T53 1:53.41 
1 2000 100m T54 16.59
2 2000 200m T54 29.51
1 2000 400m T54 55.29
4 2000 800m T54 1:57.59
5 2016 100m T54 16.40
2 2016 400m T54 54.50
  2016 4 x 400m Relay T53-54  DSQ
World Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
3 2013 200m T54 30.32
Semifinal 2013 800m T54 1:58.09
3 2013 400m T54 56.21
2 2015 200m T54 29.96
5 2015 100m T54 17.25
9 2015 800m T54 2:01.35
4 2015 400m T54 57.00
2 2017 200m T54 28.89
3 2017 400m T54 55.05
2 2017 100m T54 16.64