Grace Norman went down in history as the sport’s first female Paralympic gold medallist, and the US youngster has shown there is plenty more in store.
But challenging her is British rival Lauren Steadman, who stole the 2018 World Championship gold in the women’s PTS5. The category will be a thriller to follow ahead of the sport’s second Paralympic appearance at Tokyo 2020. And Norman remains in the hunt for the gold.
She defended her title at the 2017 World Triathlon Grand Final, beating out Steadman in a sprint-finish. The two have continued to jostle in the category.
Norman’s accomplishments came only after taking up the sport competitively in 2014, when she placed fifth at the World Championships. But a year later, Norman showed she is a true podium contender when she came second at the World Championships.
Norman was the youngest competitor at 18 years old in the Para triathlon field at Rio 2016, where the sport made its Paralympic debut. She took advantage of Steadman’s mistakes in the swimming portion to top the then-PT4 podium. A dual-sport athlete, Norman also captured bronze in the women’s 400m T44 bronze in Rio, like she had done at the previous year’s World Championships.
Norman was born missing her left leg below the knee as the result of congenital constriction band syndrome. She was fitted with her first prosthetic leg at age one.
When Norman is not racing, she trains show pigs that she presents at the county fair.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
In 2020 she graduated with a degree in nursing from Cedarville University in the United States of America, and she plans to work as a nurse following her retirement from sport. "If for some reason you can't follow your dream [to be a top athlete], if you're injured or something, you have to have something to live off of. I want to be a nurse because I love helping people and I also know it's a way I can support myself." (daytondailynews.com, 11 Jul 2021; teamusa.org, 27 Jun 2021; daytondailynews.com, 20 Sep 2019)
|Women's 400 m T44||Final 1||2015-10-28||3|
|Women PT4||Final Round||2016-09-11||1|
|Women's 400 m T44||Final Round||2016-09-12||3|