Athlete Year of Birth: 1975
Athlete Lives: United States
WTS Ranking: No Ranking
ITU Points List:: No Ranking
Type of Impairment
She was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency, a bone growth disorder which eventually led to her having an above-the-knee amputation at age seven.
Start of sporting career
After her leg amputation at age seven, she became interested in running after seeing a runner with a similar prosthetic leg in a local race.
Reason for taking up this sport
At age 11 she entered a race against other children with amputations, and won. This was a defining moment for her, as she realised she could become an athlete.
She uses yoga and meditation to ensure longevity and to stretch and strengthen muscles she isn’t paying attention to in her normal training routine.
Sporting philosophy / motto
“I can’t imagine my life without running. I don’t think I’ll stop until my heart does. I run because I’m still making up for all those childhood years of play that I missed out on. I run because I want to use the body that I was given, whatever its imperfections. I run to stay off the sidelines and in the race. Quite simply, I run because I can.”
She was the first female to finish the Ironman Triathlon competition in Kona, HI, United States in 2005. She was also the first female with an above-the-knee amputation to finish the 10km Great Wall of China race, which she completed in 2011.
She serves as a spokesperson for Ossur, one of the world’s largest prosthetic equipment manufacturers, and for the Challenged Athletes Foundation [CAF], a non-profit organisation. She also works as a motivational speaker, sharing her story to motivate others to realise their potential.
“My voice as an advocate for people with disabilities is breaking down walls, showing people that everyone has challenges that can be overcome with passion and hard work.”
In 2009 with the aid of an author she wrote her own biography titled ‘In a Single Bound’, detailing her journey from amputation at age seven through to success in Paralympic, Ironman, and marathon competitions. She described writing the book as “emotionally liberating”.
Athlete Other Sports: She competed in para-athletics at the 1989 Parapan American Games and the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona.
Athlete Education: Communications, International Relations, Journalism - George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
Athlete Children: Husband Brooke Raasch