|Name Cheri Blauwet|
Role Olympic athlete
|Education Stanford University|
|Nominations Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability|
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Cheri Blauwet (born May 15, 1980) is an American wheelchair racer. She has used a wheelchair since the age of 18 months, following a farming accident that left her with a spinal cord injury located at the T10 vertebra. She has competed at the Olympic and Paralympic level in events ranging from the 100 meters to the marathon.
Blauwet grew up in Larchwood, Iowa, in a farming family. She began racing in high school, when she was recruited by her school's track and field coach. She later attended the University of Arizona, where she was a member of the school's wheelchair racing team, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in molecular biology. She attended Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her residency including being chief resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.
She began her sporting career as a wheelchair sprinter, but later focused on longer distances. At the 2000 Summer Paralympics, she won a silver medal in the 100 m and three bronzes in the 200 m, 400 m, and 800 m events. She competed in her first marathon in Japan in 2002, and two weeks later won the New York City race, her second marathon. She then went on to win the New York City Marathon twice (2002, 2003), the Boston Marathon twice (2004, 2005), and the Los Angeles Marathon four times (2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008).
At the 2004 Olympic Games, she finished 5th in the demonstration sport of Women's 800m wheelchair. She also participated in the 2004 Summer Paralympics, where she won gold in the 800 m, bronze in the 5000 m, and another bronze in the marathon. She was also a member of the 2008 USA Paralympic team in Beijing.
Professionally she remains dedicated to promoting issues of disability rights and empowerment for individuals with disabilities in resource-poor regions. She traveled to Ethiopia and Angola with professional American football player Ray Lewis to promote and enhance disability rights through the development of amputee soccer programs.
Blauwet was named a member of the 2002 USA Today All-USA Academic Team.