Paratriathlon – It’s Okay To Be Curious, Some Facts & Fiction to Consider

Written by Ryan Van Praet (pictured on the left)

As the season has kicked off recently in Ontario and I look to toe the line in Welland for the Long Course to kick off my year, it seemed like a good time to write this article.

No doubt in the past you have seen the odd triathlete or two show up at a race and look a bit “different”. Maybe they were missing an arm or leg, rode a specially adapted bicycle, or were tied to another triathlete by a cord? Paratriathletes (athletes with a physical disability) are out there and with Rio just around the corner, the Paralympics provide a new visibility for Paratriathletes.

Being a legally blind triathlete for over 18 years, I have had the privilege to race all over the world, from ITU sprints, to the Hawaii Ironman, and more. It has provided a wonderful opportunity to gauge the curiosity of the public on what exactly are Paratriathletes. Often times we can seem like some sort of alien beings descending on a race with our contraptions and ropes and braces, etc. I wanted to tell you first and foremost: IT IS OKAY TO BE CURIOUS!! Read more