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

Grace Norman


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.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Jamestown, OH, USA
Higher education
Nursing - Cedarville University: United States

Sport specific information

Why this sport?
Her parents both had sporting backgrounds and her sister Bethany was a runner, so she wanted to follow her and try and beat her. After beginning to participate in triathlons she was invited by the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club to compete in the Midwest Championships in Chicago, IL, United States of America. She enjoyed the competition and meeting other Para athletes.
Club / Team
Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club: United States
Name of coach
Wesley Johnson [personal], USA

International debut

Competing for
United States

General interest

Looking after the animals on the family farm, playing the trumpet and piano, singing. (, 09 Jul 2016;, Sep 2016)
Most influential person in career
Her older sister Bethany, and US triathlete Gwen Jorgensen. (, 01 Sep 2016)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2015 Female High School Track Athlete of the Year by US Paralympics. (, 03 Sep 2015)
Other sports
She won a bronze medal in athletics [T44 400m] at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (SportsDeskOnline, 12 Sep 2016)
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. (, 09 Jul 2016;, 22 Oct 2015)
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. (, 22 Oct 2015)


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