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Mark Barr of the United States competes in the men's triathlon PT2 at Fort Copacabana during day 3 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Mark Barr

Swimming
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Barr finished just outside of the medals at Rio 2016, but is a hugely consistent performer on the world stage, regularly making the podium in the then-PT2 class*. By the end of 2016 he was the world No.1 in his class.

Ahead of Rio 2016, he won silver at July’s World Championships in the Netherlands, and claimed his second successive gold at the American Championships.

Barr has been a swimmer all of his life. At the Athens 2004 Paralympics, he collected two fourth-place finishes, and also raced at Beijing 2008.

He lost his leg to bone cancer in his teens. As a registered nurse at the trauma surgical intensive care unit, Barr spends three days a week working 12-hours straight on top of a swim, bike, run or strength session.

*Sport classes for Para triathlon will be renamed for 2017

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
PT2

Further personal information

Family
Wife Chelsea
Residence
Houston, TX, USA
Occupation
Nurse
Languages
English
Higher education
Nutrition - California Polytechnic State University: San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He switched from Para swimming to Para triathlon in 2008.
Why this sport?
After graduating from college, he found it hard to keep up with his training so he retired from swimming in 2008. However, he was still looking for some type of athletic outlet, so he took up road cycling. His partner Chelsea [who would later become his wife] was a runner, and she got him into running while he introduced her to swimming. Eventually they signed up for their first triathlon together in 2009. "We signed up for our first triathlon and I did pretty well. A friend told me to try and compete at the Para triathlon nationals later that year in New York City, so I did and ended up winning. Needless to say, I have been hooked on the sport ever since."
Club / Team
Team MPI: United States
Name of coach
Mark Sortino [club], USA

General interest

Injuries
In June 2008 he had his appendix removed, hampering his preparations for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing as it kept him out of the pool for one month. Despite the disruption, he competed in six events at the Games. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 05 Nov 2009; teamusa.org, 04 Dec 2006)
Other sports
He competed in swimming at the Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008. (usatriathlon.org, 13 Oct 2012)
Impairment
At age 14 he developed bone cancer in his right leg. His treatment involved him undergoing a year of chemotherapy, lung surgery, and he had his right leg amputated above the knee. (paralympic.org, 09 Sep 2015)
Other information
OCCUPATION
He has worked as a trauma surgical intensive care unit [ICU] nurse at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, TX, United States of America. (tmc.edu, 06 Dec 2016)

OTHER STUDIES
He studied nursing at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, United States of America. (LinkedIn profile, Jan 2012)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
He has served as vice president of Catapult, a non-profit organisation aiming to help people overcome their impairments by getting them involved in endurance sports. (teamcatapult.org, 10 Jul 2016)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Athens 2004 Paralympic Games (Athens, Greece)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S9 Heat 3 4
Men's 100 m Freestyle S9 Heat 3 5
Men's 400 m Freestyle S9 Heat 1 2
Men's 400 m Freestyle S9 Final Round 4
Men's 100 m Backstroke S9 Heat 1 3
Men's 100 m Butterfly S9 Heat 2 5
Men's 100 m Butterfly S9 Final Round 4
Men's 4x100 m Freestyle 34 pts Heat 2 3
Men's 4x100 m Freestyle 34 pts Final Round 5
Men's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Heat 1 4
Men's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Final Round 7
IPC Swimming World Championships Durban 2006 (Durban, South Africa)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 400 m Freestyle S9 Heats 4
Men's 100 m Freestyle S9 Heats 9
Men's 100 m Butterfly S9 Final Round 2
Men's 100 m Butterfly S9 Heats 4
Men's 400 m Freestyle S9 Final Round 6
Men's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Heats 3
Men's 50 m Freestyle S9 Heats 10
Men's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Final Round 3
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S9 Heat 2 6
Men's 100 m Freestyle S9 Heat 3 5
Men's 400 m Freestyle S9 Heat 2 5
Men's 100 m Butterfly S9 Heat 2 5
Men's 100 m Butterfly S9 Final Round 8
Men's 4x100 m Freestyle 34 pts Final Round 6
Men's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Heat 2 1
Men's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Final Round 7
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men PT2 Final Round 2016-09-10 4