Loading your recommendations…

Tony Volpentest

Paralympic - Track & Field

page image

Tony is truly an inspiration to others. He was born without hands or feet, but this has not hindered his ability to achieve. His message is: “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” He dreamt of walking, running and being the fastest in the world. At age 15, he joined the Edmonds-Woodway High track team knowing “nobody got cut”. He came in last at every race but ran anyway as a way to make friends. As a junior, he was introduced to carbon-graphite feet which are bolted to prosthetics and this is now his footwear. As a high school senior, he consistently placed second and third in races and running times close to Paralympic world records.

He is a 4-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and 5-time World Champion sprinter. At age 17 in 1990 at the World Championships in France, he won gold medals in the 100, 200, and 400 meters. At the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona, he set two world records when victorious in the 100 and 200 meters.

At the Paralympics in 1996 in Atlanta, he was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch and in these games, he won gold medals in the 100 and 200 including a new world record of 11.36 in the 100. In 1999 at the ISOD World Athletic Championships in Barcelona, he won gold medals again in the 100 and 200 meters, as well as setting a new world record of 22.85 in the 200 meter. Some of his most distinguished awards and honors are:

· International Olympic Committee Presidents Disabled Athletes Award.

· U. S. Olympic Committee Athlete of the Year Award.

· Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for the Physically Challenged.

· 1992 & 1996, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year Award Winner.

· 1991—1993, National Spokesman for Shriner’s Hospitals.

· 2009 & 2012, nominated to be inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame..

· 2005, Everett Herald’s Top 50 Athletes from Snohomish County.

Today, Tony shares his story hoping to inspire others. He currently speaks on behalf of the United States Olympic Committee helping to prepare Olympians and Paralympians for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

Want More Trip Inspiration?

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the freshest stories, videos, and travel ideas from our corner of the PNW.

Sign Me Up