By John Bombatch
Team USA paralympian and Jamestown resident Grace Norman finished third in the International Paralympic Committee-sanctioned Allianz Athlete of the Month voting for the month of July, it was announced on the IPC website Wednesday.
Norman, the current no. 1 ranked paratriathlete in the world in the women’s PT4 (below-knee amputee) class, garnered 9 percent of the vote.
Richard Whitehead a double leg amputee from Great Britain received 45 percent of the public vote for breaking his own world record, for the second time in two weeks, in the men’s T42 category 200-meter run. The current Paralympics and defending world champion set the new mark of 23.03 seconds at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final in London.
Wheelchair fencer Anton Datsko of the Ukraine was second in the international voting with 34 percent of the vote, followed by Norman, wheelchair tennis player Gordon Reid of Great Britain (7 percent) and visually impaired women’s T11 runner Libby Clegg, also of Great Britain.
Norman is currently training with members of the Team USA Paralympic team in Utah and will return to Ohio next week.
She is one of two Team USA Paralympians who will be representing the United States at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in two sports. Norman will compete in the Paralympics as a member of the U.S. Triathlon team. She will also compete as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field team, competing in the women’s T44 category in the 400-meter run.
Each nominee was selected by either a national paralympic committee or an international federation. Norman was the first paratriathlete to be nominated as a finalist for the Allianz Athlete of the Month award.
The Rio Paralympic Games will take place Sept. 7-18 at the same venues currently housing the Olympic competitions.