Para-Swimmer Roderick Sewell Is Redefining 'Multi-Sport Athlete'

Roderick Sewell

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This year's Ironman world championships, held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, were grueling by any standard of measure: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile ride. For any person of any athletic ability at any point in history, a feat of that magnitude would be impressive — but what about a double above-the-knee amputee?

Para-swimmer Roderick Sewell became the first man in history to add that notch on his belt in October 2019. 

Sewell was born without tibias and received his first pair of prosthetic legs before he was even 10 years old, and he had a difficult childhood growing up. His life completely changed when he connected with Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helped give him an outlet and focus on sports. He obviously succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

“Sports changed my attitude about life,” Sewell said. “As soon as I started doing sports, I became very competitive and saw everything as a challenge that I had to get through. I started seeing life the same way, as a challenge that I could get through.”

Sewell is now a Team USA veteran, having competed in a number of international competitions for swimming including the 2017 World Championships where he helped the Americans win a 4x100 medley bronze medal. He has also collected a batch of medals, including several gold, at the Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships, in several events. 

Now the Team USA athlete has other ambitions.

As detailed in this recent profile in the New York Times by sportswriter Matthew Futterman, Sewell is using the extra time caused by the postponement of the 2020 Olympics to focus on another sport: cycling. With his determination and ability, he might just be sharp enough to be one of the very few multi-sport athletes in Tokyo come next summer. 

These days, when he's not competing, Sewell gives back to the community. In addition to his work with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, he has worked with organizations like the Limb Kind Foundation, which helps kids get prosthetics who might not be able to afford it otherwise, and also the San Diego YMCA, where he teaches an outreach swimming program. 

Despite all the pervasive troubling news on the internet and the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there are stories of hope like Sewell's. His drive and passion for sports are exactly the kind of thing we need right now to keep pushing through these hard times, and it's going to be difficult to find too many stories as inspiring as this one! 

Fans Rally To Push For The Rescue Of Iowa Swimming & Diving

Iowa Swimming

Nearly a month ago, the University of Iowa announced that the school would be discontinuing four varsity sports programs in the continue destructive wake of COVID-19 — including both men's and women's swimming and diving. 

2020 Super League Triathlon Arena Games Rotterdam Start List

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The 2020 Super League Triathlon Arena Games Rotterdam are streaming live and on demand through FloTrack and the FloSports apps on August 23rd. Start time is 7am EST. The broadcast is available worldwide with the exception of France and Australia.

The 2020 Super League Triathlon Arena Games Rotterdam Explained

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The 2020 Super League Triathlon Arena Games Rotterdam are streaming live and on demand through FloTrack and the FloSports apps on August 23rd. Start time is 7am EST. The broadcast is available worldwide with the exception of France and Australia.

How to Watch: 2020 Super League Triathlon Arena Games Rotterdam

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The 2020 Super League Triathlon Arena Games Rotterdam are streaming live and on demand through FloTrack and the FloSports apps on August 23rd. Start time is 7am EST. The broadcast is available worldwide with the exception of France and Australia.

The 2028 Olympics In Los Angeles Will Be Special For Swimming

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On the front page of USA Swimming's website is a ticking clock: a live countdown to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to be held June 13-20, 2021. That competition will get Team USA ready for the subsequent 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the Games that were, of course, delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic that swept the world, and which is still greatly changing life in the United States. 

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Texas Swimming & Diving Is One Of The Greatest NCAA Division I Dynasties

How Did Texas Prep For World Champ Trials?

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Eddie Reese, head coach of swimming and diving at the University of Texas, is a walking legend. 

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We Stand With You

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The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Workouts Without Water: Staying In Competition Shape Minus The Pool

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Just about everybody is hoping pools don't close (or stay closed) for the summer due to the continued fallout from COVID-19. We know summer without the water can be a difficult task for many, especially parents with kids, but you know who needs the water most of all? Swimmers, that's who. 

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Youth Sports Leaders Form PLAY Sports Coalition

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PLAY Sports Coalition Press Release

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