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female Para triathlete Grace Norman bites her gold medal on the podium

Grace Norman

Triathlon
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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.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
T64

Further personal information

Residence
Jamestown, OH, USA
Occupation
Student
Languages
English
Higher education
Nursing - Cedarville University: United States

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began running competitively in early high school.
Club / Team
Cedarville University: United States
Name of coach
Robin Norman [mother]

General interest

Most influential person in career
Her older sister Bethany, and US triathlete Gwen Jorgensen. (teamusa.org, 01 Sep 2016)
Injuries
She was sidelined for one month in early 2018 due to a stress reaction in her right foot. (teamusa.org, 14 Sep 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Don't be afraid of what you are not good at yet and have fun." (USA Triathlon Facebook page, 01 Aug 2019)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2015 Female High School Track Athlete of the Year by US Paralympics. (teamusa.org, 03 Sep 2015)
Other sports
She has represented the United States of America in Para triathlon, and won gold in the PT4 class at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (SportsDeskOnline, 06 May 2020; teamusa.org, 01 Sep 2019)
Famous relatives
Her mother Robin competed in distance running for Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, United States of America, her father Tim has participated in masters swimming and triathlon events, and her older sister Bethany has competed for the Cedarville University athletics team in Ohio, United States of America. (mydaytondailynews.com, 09 Jul 2016; teamusa.org, 22 Oct 2015)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (teamusa.org, 14 Sep 2018)
Impairment
She 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. (teamusa.org, 22 Oct 2015)
Other information
FUTURE PLANS
She has studied nursing at Cedarville University in the United States of America and 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, 20 Sep 2019)

Results

Unit Date Rank
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 400 m T44 Final 1 2015-10-28 3
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women PT4 Final Round 2016-09-11 1
Women's 400 m T44 Final Round 2016-09-12 3