“For my whole life I had watched the Olympic triathlon on TV, admired the athletes and been enthralled by the challenge.”

I knew how much effort it took to become competent in just one sport -swimming- and wanted the challenge of perfecting every detail of transitions plus the 3 sports of swimming, cycling and running. I’d never heard of paratriathlon when I decided to prepare for my first race but concluded I could use my handcycle for the bike leg and bought a racing wheelchair for the run leg.

One year to the day after my first race in 2009, I won bronze at the world Paratriathlon championships. Although I have now had to retire from triathlon due to injury, I am so glad I challenged myself to pursue this life long goal!.

-Marayke Jonkers