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Paralympics: What happened to Hunter Woodhall?

Paralympics: What happened to Hunter Woodhall?

If you’re already swept up in Olympic fever, chances are you’re also across the upcoming Paralympics, which kick off in Paris on August 28.

The Olympics counterpart has already seen breakout stars emerge as the race to Paris heats up, with the swimming trials taking place in Minneapolis earlier this week. Over on the track, a swathe of promising paralympic athletes are vying for their place in the Olympic team, with the track and field trials taking place across two days in Miramar, Florida from July 18.

One racer eyeing a place on the team is Hunter Woodhall, a track star and double amputee from Georgia who has already tasted Paralympic glory. While he’s on track to make the team, there was a time when Woodhall’s athletic future was hanging in the balance. 

What happened to Hunter Woodhall?

Hunter Woodhall’s double amputation came as a result of fibular hemimelia, meaning he was missing one of the two main bones in his legs. Woodhall’s parents decided to amputate both legs at just 11 months old, and it wasn’t long before he put on the running blades and hit the track. 

Woodhall became a true athletic prodigy, winning bronze and silver medals at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio and later securing a second silver at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. While this put him on track to clinch a place in the team for Paris 2024, Woodhall’s Olympic hopes were almost dashed last year, when he broke one of his prosthetic legs while competing at the World Championships. 

@hunterwoodhall

Heartbreaking way to end my season. I couldn’t control the outcome and had to watch the race id trained for all year from the side of the track. As much as it hurt ive never been more motivated. I will come back better, faster, and stronger. #trackandfield

♬ original sound – Hunter Woodhall

Footage of the injury went viral on social media — where Woodhall regularly shares his life with thousands of followers — and the athlete wrote of coming back “better, faster, and stronger.” It’s a promise he has certainly lived up to, with Woodhall declaring in a recent Instagram post that he’s “made more changes over the past year than ever in my career.” It’s all leading up to the U.S. Paralympic track and field trials later this month, and Woodhall has a pretty strong support unit by his side. 

Woodhall’s wife, Tara Davis-Woodhall, is an equally inspirational track and field athlete. The pair — who’ve made a name for themselves for their style and social media savvy — were seen celebrating at Tara’s Olympic trials in Oregon this month. For her part, Tara won her long jump final and secured a place in the women’s long jump team for Paris 2024. It will mark her second time at the Olympics, having placed sixth in the women’s long jump final at the 2020 Summer Olympics.  

Regardless of how they perform, Hunter and Tara’s heartwarming relationship and social media stardom means they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

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