Scot Hollonbeck

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Scot Hollonbeck
Medal record
Competitor for the  United States
Men's athletics
Paralympic Games
Gold 1992 Barcelona 4×400 m relay TW3–4
Gold 1992 Barcelona 800 m TW4
Silver 1992 Barcelona 1500 m TW3–4
Silver 1996 Atlanta 1500 m T52–53
Silver 1996 Atlanta 800 m T53

Scot Hollonbeck (born 1969) is an American wheelchair racer, who competed at the Olympic and Paralympic level. At the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, he placed sixth in the wheelchair racing event. At the 2004 Olympic Games, he finished 4th in the demonstration sport of Men's 1500m wheelchair. He competed in four consecutive Summer Paralympics from 1992 to 2004, winning a total of two gold and three silver medals.[1]

Hollonbeck became a paraplegic at age 14 after being hit by a drunk driver while bicycling to swim practice. Only days after the accident, while still in the hospital, he watched a wheelchair race on television where Sharon Hedrick broke the world record in the 800 meters. Having been a competitive runner he immediately became interested in the sport and attended a camp for disabled athletes at the University of Illinois the next summer.[2]

While attending Rochelle Township High School in Rochelle, Illinois, he was a member of the school's track and field team. As a sophomore, he was allowed to race in a wheelchair division. As the only wheeler he often raced in mixed heats with runners, the wheeler and runner heats were scored separately. For his last two years of high school, however, the school barred him from competing in mixed heats with runners because of safety issues. Despite the fact that Scot trained every day with the runner in mixed practices, he was deemed "unsafe" during competition. In 1987 Hollonbeck filed the a lawsuit against the school system. This was the first case in the country concerning the right for disabled students to compete on their school teams. In late 1988, after he had graduated from the school, a federal judge ruled that school officials had violated his civil rights, as provided for in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, by not allowing him to argue his case. The judge did not rule on whether high school wheelchair athletes should be able to compete alongside or against their able-bodied peers.[3]

Hollonbeck received an athletic scholarship to the University of Illinois[3] and was a member of the school's wheelchair basketball and track and field teams. [2] He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia to work for The Coca-Cola Company in the Worldwide Sports Department. He continues to be a disabled sports policy expert and access advocate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hollonbeck's profile on paralympic.org
  2. ^ a b "Interview with Scot Hollonbeck". Against the Wind. WILL. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  3. ^ a b Schmidt, William E. (June 27, 1988). "Student Wins the Right To Race in Wheelchair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-01.