Paralympic gold medalist prepares for first race since COVID

Paralympic cyclist preparing for first race since COVID

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - We are just days away from the US Paralympics Cycling Open.

This weekend, more than 100 of the best cyclists will race down the streets of Huntsville in hopes of peddling closer to the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Three-time Paralympic medalist, and Birmingham resident, Jennifer Schuble, will compete on the streets of Huntsville to hopefully make her fourth Paralympic games. Over the course of Schuble’s athletic career, she has faced two Traumatic Brain Injuries and a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. But, she says being an athlete is very important because she has a goal and something to strive for in life.

Schuble was a three-sport varsity athlete at West Point when she sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury that forced her to leave the military academy. “When I had my traumatic brain injury in the army and I left West Point and I went to Alabama, my rehabilitation was that I wanted to be an athlete again.”

After a long recovery, Schuble joined the soccer team at Alabama but experienced another brain injury in her last year of eligibility.

“It was very frustrating. I had to relearn things. That is when I got into swimming and starting doing triathlons.”

In 2004 another setback, Schuble was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. But her life as an athlete would continue thanks to a suggestion from someone at the community center pool.

“It just happened to be in this little swimming pool in Birmingham that I found out that I qualified to be in the Paralympics.”

Shuble competed in her first Paralympic race in 2007, and just one year later she went on to win her first Gold Medal in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. She went on to compete in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games adding three silver and a bronze to her hardware collection.

She is hoping this weekend is another stepping stone to making it to the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

“My goal is to meet the National team standard and win my category and bunch a ticket to Belgium.”

This weekend’s cycling open could qualify Schuble for a race in Belgium, which is a stepping stone for the 2021 Tokyo Games. But, this weekend’s race is a good look at her chances of winning another gold medal because everyone wanting to make it to Tokyo will be here in Huntsville.

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