10917-Stefan Rusch photo

Stefan Rusch



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Partner Marlou van Rhijn
Dutch, English, German
Higher education
Communications, Marketing - Johan Cruyff Institute: Groningen, NED

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began competing in wheelchair racing in 2006.
Why this sport?
He played wheelchair basketball until his physiotherapist encouraged him to take up Para athletics. "I really liked going up and down hard [on the basketball court], but I was not a fan of the ball, so athletics suited me better."
Club / Team
Haag Atletiek: The Hague, NED

International debut

Competing for
World Championships
Christchurch, NZL

General interest

Cooking, sports. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Most influential person in career
His mother. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Hero / Idol
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2018 he received the Wouter Duinisveld Award in the Netherlands. (, 27 Mar 2019)

In 2010 and 2011 he was named Male Athlete of the Year in Midden-Drenthe, Netherlands. (, 18 Feb 2012;, 07 Feb 2011)
Famous relatives
His partner Marlou van Rhijn has represented the Netherlands in Para athletics. She won gold medals in the T44 100m and T44 200m at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 23 Oct 2020; SportsDeskOnline, 17 Sep 2016)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 06 Mar 2020)
He was born with a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia. The condition causes constant stiffness in his leg muscles. (, 26 Jan 2017)
Other information
In 2009 he founded the Stichting World Wide Wheelen [World Wide Wheels Foundation] to encourage children with an impairment to get involved in sport. "I want to help children to achieve their ambitions in sport. From recreational sport to elite sport, the level is not important. Fun and developing yourself is the most important thing. I want to let children experience what they can still do, and focus on that. The disability does not have to be a limitation if you think in possibilities and adapt to it." (LinkedIn profile, 2020)

In 2015 he began working as an ambassador for Right to Play, an international non-profit organisation that aims to promote sport to children. "As a proud Right To Play ambassador, I am committed to make sure that every child has the opportunity to play and exercise. I know from my own experience that exercise is of great importance in a child's development when it comes to self-confidence and self-image. I want children to experience that just like I did, and if I am able to help achieve that, then I happy to do so." (LinkedIn profile, 2020)


Unit Date Rank
2011 IPC Athletics World Championships (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T34 Heat 1 2011-01-22 3
Men's 200 m T34 Final 2011-01-23 9999
Men's 100 m T34 Heat 2 2011-01-24 1
Men's 100 m T34 Final 2011-01-25 3
Men's 400 m T34 Final 2011-01-27 3
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T34 Heat 1 2012-09-04 4
Men's 200 m T34 Final Round 2012-09-04 6
Men's 100 m T34 Final Round 2012-09-08 6
Men's 100 m T34 Heat 1 2012-09-08 3
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T34 Semifinal 1 2013-07-21 6
Men's 200 m T34 Final 1 2013-07-22 4
Men's 100 m T34 Semifinal 2 2013-07-23 5
Men's 100 m T34 Final 1 2013-07-24 3
Men's 400 m T34 Semifinal 1 2013-07-26 9
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 400 m T34 Heat 2 2015-10-23 10
Men's 100 m T34 Heat 2 2015-10-27 7
Men's 100 m T34 Final 1 2015-10-28 7
Men's 200 m T34 Heat 2 2015-10-30 12
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m T34 Heat 2 2017-07-15 9
Men's 200 m T34 Final 1 2017-07-21 6