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Roderick Sewell  

Paralympic Athlete & Swimmer on Team USA

Roderick Sewell is a Paralympic athlete and swimmer representing Team USA. Sewell was born missing his tibia in both legs, which were both amputated above the knee before he turned 2. He got his first pair of prosthetic legs a year later. As he grew, his legs needed to grow with him, and the demand for new sockets, feet and knees became annual.

Roderick’s mother quit her job so that California Children’s services would pay for prosthetics since her modest income couldn’t provide enough to cover them. From age 8 to 12, Sewell and his mother dipped in and out of shelters in San Diego. He was homeless when he connected with coaches from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, an organization that helps provide disabled athletes with a path to success. When they gave him his running legs, Sewell's life quickly changed for the better.

He learned how to swim from his coach and mentor, Alan Voisard, at the Mission Valley YMCA in San Diego when he was ten years old. Sewell made his swimming debut with the U.S. Para-swimming team at the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships where he won both a gold and bronze medal.

In 2019, Sewell announced his participation in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. on October 12, he successfully completed 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running across Hawaii's Big Island, and is the first bilateral above-the-knee amputee to ever do it.

News


Above-the-knee Double Amputee Roderick Sewell to Compete in Ironman World Championships

Roderick Sewell is about to compete in what's widely considered to be the world's most difficult race. But if he successfully completes 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running across Hawaii's Big Island, he'll be the first above-the-knee double amputee to ever complete an Ironman.

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