2012 London Paralympic Games
Sharon Hedrick at the 1984 Olympic Games
Paralympic Delegation Includes Hedrick, Driscoll
Sharon Hedrick (MS, AHS 1982) and Jean Driscoll (MS, AHS 1993) will be among the delegation representing President Barack Obama at the 2012
Paralympic Games in London. The games get underway with an opening ceremony on August 29, 2012.
Hedrick became the first athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in wheelchair track and field, setting a world record in the 800-meter race
at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The following year, she became the first wheelchair athlete to receive the US Olympic Committee-sanctioned
Southland Olympia Award, which recognizes athletes who excel in sport and who embody dedication to the amateur ideal. In 1988, she won another gold
medal in the 800-meter race in the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.
Hedrick, who also won six gold, four silver, and two bronze medals as a Paralympian, was inducted into the Wheelchair Sports USA Hall of Fame in
1992 and became the first female member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s Hall of Fame in 1994.
Jean Driscoll is the first eight-time winner of the Boston Marathon, setting the course record five times. In addition to her success in Boston,
Jean won two Olympic silver medals and five gold, three silver, and four bronze Paralympic medals. She continues to hold the world record in the 10,000
meter track event that was set during the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Jean was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in July 2012.
Also included in the President’s Delegation is Kareem Dale, associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Special Assistant
to the President for Disability Policy. Dale, who is partially blind, received services from the College of Applied Health Science’s Division of Disability
Resources and Educational Services while completing an undergraduate degree in advertising and law degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(1995 and 1999, respectively).
The delegation will be led by US Army General Martin Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Other members include the Honorable Louis Susman,
Ambassador of the United States to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Honorable Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the US Environmental
Protection Agency, and Larry Hughes, US Paralympic gold medalist.
Amanda McGrory, Jessica Galli and Anjali Forber-Pratt are among 31 athletes and coaches who are representing the University of Illinois.
2012 Paralympic Qualifiers
University of Illinois students and alumni were a force to be reckoned with at the 2012 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Trials, which took place
June 29 through July 1 at Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis (IUPUI). Thirteen of the track and field team’s 54 members have ties
to the University. More than 15 other students and alumni will also be in London as part of wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball teams, and
alumnus Tony Iniguez will coach wheelchair track.
To follow the Paralympics and see a complete roster, visit the Division of Disability
Resources and Educational Services site dedicated to the Games.