They say that if you are truly determined and put your mind towards something, you can achieve anything. And that is definitely the case with Team USANA’s Paralympian athletes. The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games have sadly come to a close but the names of all who competed there will live on until the end of time. Those victorious, will be written in the history books and will be remembered as true heroes. Their achievements will serve as a testament and remind us that nothing is impossible, even against all odds.
USANA Health Sciences saw five of its sponsored para-athletes make their Paralympic debuts as they fought for gold in Rio. More than 4,300 athletes competed during the 11-day competition, and Team USANA left Brazil with four pieces of history — one silver and three bronze medals — in athletic, canoe sprint and cycling events.
Team USANA Australia is very proud to have had 2 athletes, Deon Kenzie and Sam McIntosh, compete at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. These two national heroes went head-to-head with elite athletes from all around the world in Brazil last month and made their country proud.
Deon Kenzie takes home Silver Medal
Australian world record-breaking champion, Deon Kenzie won Australia’s first silver medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympics in the 1500m T38 Track and Field event. Deon has cerebral palsy, a physical disability that affects movement and posture, but that certainly didn’t hold him back. At the starting bell he took off in the lead, before falling short of gold at a time of 4:14.95 to Abbes Saidi of Tunisia. He was less than a second behind the winner and improved on his bronze medal performance at the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships last year.
It was Deon’s first Paralympic debut but his deep love for running and athletics shined bright to secure an awe-inspiring outcome. Running became an important passion of his 8 years ago and he has never looked back ever since. Preparation as well as training was key to his success, and nutrition was a big part of that.
“USANA has been an essential part of my routine leading up to and during the Paralympic Games. USANA products give me peace of mind that I can maintain good nutrition whilst traveling and competing” said Kenzie.
Sam McIntosh comes 4th in Wheelchair Track T52
Australian inspiration and second-time Paralympian, Sam McIntosh competed in the Wheelchair Track T52 and finished 4th in the Paralympic final. Sam is well known for his undying determination and ambition to achieve anything he sets his mind to. He is no stranger to overcoming obstacles and has persevered through life-changing circumstances and multiple injuries to become a modern-day hero.
It was a chance encounter with Kay Colman (mother of Paralympic gold medalist Richard Colman) a couple years ago, that helped him obtain a trainer and put him on the road to making his dream of becoming an elite athlete a reality. Since then, Sam has secured Australian records across three distances and a number of championships under his belt, including finishing an impressive ninth and twelfth in two events at the London Paralympics after sustaining neck injuries only nine months before.
Other Team USANA highlights:
Canadian para-cyclist Charles Moreau secured two podium appearances, capturing bronze in both the men’s road race H3 and time trial H3 events.
Para-canoeist Ian Marsden of Great Britain paddled to bronze in the inaugural kayak single KL1 200m contest.
New Zealand para-sailor Richard Dodson placed fourth overall in the three-person keelboat alongside crew mate Chris Sharpand Paralympian Andrew May.
Para-cyclist Byron Raubenheimer of New Zealand finished 11th overall in the men’s 4km pursuit C4.
Just being able to compete in the Paralympics is a life-changing milestone, let alone taking home a medal or achieving a high place in the events. Please join us in congratulating our Team USANA Paralympians on their sheer determination and will power to overcome everything life throws at them to be the best they can be.
“It has been an honor to team up with these exceptional athletes and watch them compete for their countries on the world’s largest athletic stage. We congratulate all of our athletes on their recent achievements and are proud to stand beside them as they focus on their future endeavors.” said USANA Chief Communications Officer Dan Macuga.
They say true greatness comes from within. Coincidentally, true health also comes from within as well. USANA Health Sciences helps support professional athletes to become the best they can be and allows them to reach optimal performance in their respective sports.