USA Triathlon Announces 2020 U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team
by USA Triathlon
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced its 2020 U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team, comprised of the 17 athletes who will represent the United States at this summer’s Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo-bound team includes four defending medalists from triathlon’s debut at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016, five athletes who have won World Paratriathlon Championship titles, and three Paralympic Games medalists in sports other than triathlon.
“USA Triathlon is proud to bring 17 incredibly talented paratriathletes to Tokyo,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Our athletes have demonstrated so much perseverance and grit on their way to this moment. They have stayed focused through the postponement of the Games and the many other challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This team is poised for historic performances on the world stage this summer, and we look forward to witnessing the culmination of their hard work.”
“After a four-medal showing in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio Games, U.S. paratriathletes have continued to raise the game — and now, heading into Tokyo, this crew is faster, stronger, and more competitive than ever before,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, USA Triathlon Paralympic Program Director. “These 17 athletes have already made us proud, and no doubt will do so again in Tokyo. I encourage the multisport community to tune into the Paralympic Games in August and cheer for these world-class athletes as they chase medals for Team USA.”
Toyota is a Proud Partner of USA Triathlon, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). The company is also the title sponsor of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon National Team, Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Development Team and Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team, based at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Toyota has shown unparalleled commitment to the paratriathlon program, serving as the title partner for the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships and in 2019 combining with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and USA Triathlon to offer the first-ever professional prize purse for the event. Toyota also directly sponsors select Team Toyota paratriathletes.
“Toyota couldn’t be prouder to help introduce the incredible athletes who have earned their place on the 2020 U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, sponsorship, integration & auto shows, Toyota Motor North America. “These athletes have exhibited such resiliency in the face of adversity, and we are so happy to see their journey take them to Tokyo. It’s been a long road to get to this moment and we wish them the best of luck as they represent our country on the world’s biggest sport stage.”
Triathlon at the Paralympic Games
Paratriathlon made its debut as a medal event at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. The U.S. fielded a team of 10 athletes who earned four total medals, including a podium sweep in the women’s PT2 category — Allysa Seely taking gold, Hailey Danz silver and Melissa Stockwell bronze — and a gold for Grace Norman in the women’s PT4 category. (The paratriathlon sport classes have been revised since Rio; for a complete explanation of paratriathlon sport classes, visit triathlon.org/paratriathlon/categories).
At the Paralympic Games, triathletes will cover a 750-meter swim, non-drafting 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. All races will be held at Tokyo’s Odaiba Marine Park, the same venue as the Olympic triathlon competitions.
The Paralympic triathlon events will take place Friday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Aug. 28, at 5:30 p.m. ET in the U.S. (Saturday, Aug. 28, and Sunday, Aug. 29 at 6:30 a.m. in Tokyo). Paratriathlon medal events in Tokyo include PTWC men and women, PTVI men and women, PTS4 men, PTS2 women and PTS5 men and women. Athletes whose classifications are not included in the Tokyo Games are permitted to “class up” and race in a higher category against athletes with less severe impairments, provided they meet qualification and selection criteria.
Elizabeth Baker (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), guided by Jillian Elliott (Gig Harbor, Wash.), Women’s PTVI
2016 U.S. Paralympian
Baker competed in paratriathlon’s debut at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016, placing fourth. She is a seven-time World Paratriathlon Event medalist and fourth-place finisher at the 2019 World Paratriathlon Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. Baker is a 1996 graduate of the University of Georgia and earned her master’s from Medical College of Georgia in 2001. She is coached by USA Triathlon Level III Coach Christine Palmquist. Elliott, Baker’s guide, is a former U.S. National Team triathlete who raced in World Triathlon Series, World Cup and Pan American Cup events. She is coached by USA Triathlon Level III Coach Mark Sortino.
Jamie Brown (Oceanside, Calif.), Men’s PTS4
Brown is a two-time World Paratriathlon Championships bronze medalist (2012, 2017) and six-time World Paratriathlon Event medalist. He took bronze at the 2019 Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, sixth at the 2019 World Paratriathlon Championships and is the 2019 U.S. National Champion. He is a 2003 graduate of Chapman University in Orange, California, where he played on the NCAA men’s baseball team. He is a member of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team in Colorado Springs, coached by USA Triathlon Level II coach Derick Williamson.
Kyle Coon (Colorado Springs, Colo.), guided by Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Men’s PTVI
Coon is a two-time World Triathlon Para Series medalist who earned his first international victory on May 15 in Yokohama, Japan. He is a two-time World Cup medalist, the 2019 Paratriathlon Nationals runner-up, and placed second at last month’s Americas Triathlon Para Championships Pleasant Prairie. Coon lost his vision at age 7 due to retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. He is now a member of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team in Colorado Springs, coached by Williamson. Coon is a 2013 graduate of the University of Central Florida. His guide, Potts, is a 2004 U.S. Olympian, 2007 Pan American Games gold medalist, decorated IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 athlete and an ambassador for the USA Triathlon Foundation. Potts is coached by Mike Doane.
Hailey Danz (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Women’s PTS2
2016 U.S. Paralympic silver medalist
Danz won silver as part of a U.S. podium sweep with Seely (gold) and Stockwell (bronze) at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. She is the 2013 World Paratriathlon Champion, a six-time World Championships medalist, and winner of the 2019 Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup and the 2021 Americas Triathlon Para Championships Pleasant Prairie. She is a 2013 graduate of Northwestern University and is a member of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team coached by Williamson. Danz is a cancer survivor and had her leg amputated due to osteosarcoma at age 14.
Amy Dixon (Encinitas, Calif.), guided by Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), Women’s PTVI
Dixon is a 2019 U.S. National Champion, 2016 Aquathlon (swim-run) World Champion, nine-time World Paratriathlon Event medalist and six-time World Paratriathlon Cup medalist. In February 2020, she earned a silver medal at the World Triathlon Para Series event in Devonport, Australia. Dixon is a 1999 graduate of the University of Connecticut and is coached by USA Triathlon Level II Coach Ken Axford. Her guide, Sass, is a decorated amateur triathlete with 10 age-group world titles across the disciplines of triathlon, duathlon (run-bike-run) and aquathlon. She is coached by USA Triathlon Level III Coach Suzanne Atkinson.
Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas), Women’s PTS5 (classing up from PTS4)
U.S. Army veteran
Elmlinger served for 10 years as a U.S. Army medic, with three back-to-back deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. She had her leg amputated in 2016 due to synovial sarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue cancer. She won the 2018 USA Paratriathlon National Championships in just her second triathlon since becoming an amputee. She is the 2019 World Championships silver medalist and won gold this year at World Triathlon Para Series events in Yokohama, Japan, and Leeds, England. Elmlinger is a 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is coached by USA Triathlon Level III coach Shelly O’Brien.
Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.), Women’s PTWC
2018 U.S. Paralympian (biathlon, cross-country skiing; 2 golds)
Gretsch is a multi-sport talent in both paratriathlon and Nordic skiing, having won two gold medals in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. She is the 2014, 2015 and 2016 World Paratriathlon Champion, 2019 Worlds silver medalist and was undefeated in elite paratriathlon competition from June 2014-July 2018. She is a 2014 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and a member of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team in Colorado Springs, coached by Williamson.
Chris Hammer (Elkins, W.V.), Men’s PTS5
2012 U.S. Paralympian (track & field), 2016 U.S. Paralympian (triathlon)
Hammer competed at the 2016 Paralympic Games in triathlon, placing fourth, and in track & field at the London 2012 Games, placing ninth in the 1,500m and 10th in the marathon. He is a three-time World Paratriathlon Championships bronze medalist and 12-time World Paratriathlon Event medalist. Hammer earned his bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where he competed on the NCAA track and cross-country teams. He earned master’s degrees from Eastern Washington University and the University of Utah, and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. He is currently head coach of the NCAA women’s triathlon team at Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. He is coached by USA Triathlon Level III Coach Wesley Johnson.
Eric McElvenny (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Men’s PTS4
U.S. Marine Corps veteran
McElvenny had his right leg amputated after stepping on an IED while serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan. In 2019, he placed second at the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon National Championships runner-up and won the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships. He earned his first World Triathlon Para Series medal earlier this year in Leeds, England, and took the win at the Americas Triathlon Para Championships Pleasant Prairie. McElvenny is a 2006 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he competed on the men's rugby team.
Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio), Women’s PTS5
2016 U.S. Paralympic gold medalist (triathlon), 2016 U.S. Paralympic bronze medalist (track & field, 400m)
Norman won a gold medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in paratriathlon and added a bronze in track & field in the 400m. She is a six-time World Championships medalist, including two golds, a silver and two bronzes. Norman’s resume also includes 10 World Paratriathlon Event medals and two U.S. national titles. She is a 2020 graduate of Cedarville University in Ohio, where she competed on the NCAA track and cross-country teams. She also represented Cedarville at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships, placing 26th overall. Norman is coached by USA Triathlon Level III Coach Greg Mueller.
Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.), Women’s PTS2
2016 U.S. Paralympic gold medalist (triathlon), 2016 U.S. Paralympian (track & field)
Seely won a gold medal in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Games. She also competed in track & field in Rio, placing sixth in the 200m. Seely is the 2015, 2016 and 2018 World Paratriathlon Champion, and took silver at Worlds in 2017 and 2019. She is a 12-time World Paratriathlon Event gold medalist, and she won an ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability after going undefeated for the entire 2018 season. Seely is a member of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team in Colorado Springs, coached by Williamson. She is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State University, where she competed on the club triathlon team. She serves on the USA Triathlon Board of Directors.
Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Md.), guided by Greg Billington (San Francisco, Calif.), Men’s PTVI
2012, 2016 U.S. Paralympian (swimming; 5 golds, 2 silvers), U.S. Navy veteran
Snyder is a U.S. Navy veteran who lost his eyesight in a 2011 IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan. One year to the date of losing his vision, he won a gold medal in swimming at the Paralympic Games London 2012. Now a five-time gold medalist and two-time silver medalist in swimming from the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, he made the switch to paratriathlon in 2018 and earned his first elite victory at the 2021 Americas Triathlon Para Championships Pleasant Prairie. Snyder is a Team Toyota athlete and a 2006 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was captain of the NCAA men’s swim team. Snyder’s guide, Billington, is a 2016 U.S. Olympian in triathlon, placing 37th in Rio.
Melissa Stockwell (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Women’s PTS2
2016 U.S. Paralympic bronze medalist (triathlon), 2008 U.S. Paralympian (swimming); U.S. Army veteran
Stockwell won a bronze medal in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Games, completing a U.S. podium sweep with teammates Seely and Danz. She is the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Paratriathlon World Champion and a five-time World Championships medalist. She also represented the U.S. at the Paralympic Games Beijing 2008 in swimming. Stockwell is a U.S. Army veteran who became the first female American soldier to lose a limb in active combat while serving in Iraq in 2004. She is a Team Toyota athlete and member of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team coached by Williamson. Stockwell also serves on the USA Triathlon Foundation Board of Trustees. Stockwell is a 2002 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
All U.S. Paralympic Team nominations are pending final approval by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. To learn more about USA Triathlon at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, visit usatriathlon.org/tokyo2020. USA Triathlon’s Tokyo 2020 Media and Fan Guide will be produced and distributed in the coming weeks.
About Tokyo United
USA Triathlon is promoting its elite athletes in the lead-up to, during and beyond the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games with its Tokyo United campaign. Tokyo United showcases theresilience, determination and teamwork shown by U.S. Olympians and Paralympians, and the communities surrounding them, on their path to the Games. Tokyo United also refers to the common experience shared by the USA Triathlon family over the last year — from amateur athletes, race directors, coaches and clubs whose racing plans were upended, to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls whose dreams were deferred — and the many ways we lifted each other up in hopes of a more promising 2021. The three-phased campaign begins with United to Tokyo, showcasing each U.S. Olympic and Paralympic triathlon hopeful’s journey from childhood to the biggest stage in sport — along with the family and support systems that helped them along the way. The second phase, United in Tokyo, brings together the entire multisport community and the global Olympic and Paralympic family to support Team USA at the pinnacle of competition, and to revel in the long-awaited Olympic and Paralympic moment. The final phase, United Beyond Tokyo, will celebrate the achievements of the 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams before passing the torch to aspiring triathletes with Olympic and Paralympic dreams for the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Games.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).