Sandy Dukat

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Sandy Dukat
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1972-05-03) May 3, 1972 (age 45)
Canton, Ohio, USA
Sport Alpine skiing, triathlon, distance running
Disability Above-knee amputee
Updated on February 6, 2013.

Sandra "Sandy" Dukat (born May 3, 1972) is an American Paralympic athlete. Born with proximal femoral focal deficiency, she had her right leg amputated above the knee at the age of four.[1] She has competed internationally in alpine skiing, swimming and triathlon. As of February 2013, she holds the marathon world record for above-knee amputee women.[2]

Sporting career[edit]

Dukat grew up competing in able-bodied sports. She played basketball, high-jumped and was on her high school swim team. When she called the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) looking for an amputee support group, she found out about their sports teams. It was only then that she learned that Paralympic sport existed.[3]


In 1996, Dukat joined the swim team at the RIC.[1] In 1997, she won 2 silver and 1 bronze medals at the USA National Championships, and won her classification at the National 5K Disabled Open Water Invitational.[1] She was named to the US Disabled Swim Team in 1998.[1] At the 1998 Disabled World Swimming Championships, she broke the then S9 American record in the 800 metre freestyle event and was co-captain of the US Team.[1] She did not, however, make finals at the meet.[4][5][6][7]


Dukat first became interested in skiing in 1997, after attending the Disabled Sports USA Hartford Ski Spectacular.[8] She started to ski in the RIC Paralympic Sports Program, then committed to training 6 months of each year at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Colorado.[9] Dukat won two bronze medals for alpine skiing at the 2002 Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City and one bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Turin.[10] At the 2004 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships, she won bronze medals in 3 events, Downhill, Giant slalom and Super-G.[11] She had success in the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup, achieving many podium finishes; in the 2003-2004 season, she finished fifth overall.[8]

Dukat retired from competitive skiing in 2007.[12]


Dukat turned to triathlon as a way to keep motivated and active during the skiing off-season.[13]

In 2003, she won the Physically Challenged division of the Olympic distance St Anthony's triathlon.[1] In 2004, she was named to the US Paralympic Triathlon Development Team.[1] She was on the USA Triathlon Physically Challenged National Team in 2008.[14]

Dukat won the Women's Above Knee division of the USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Championships in 2007,[14] 2008,[15] 2009[16] and 2010.[17] In 2008, she represented the USA at the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Vancouver. She became 2008 World Champion in her above knee impairment classification,[15][18] and was named 2008 USA Triathlon Paratriathlete of the Year.[15]


Having previously competed in 5K, 10K and half marathon races,[1] Dukat ran her first marathon in January 2009. She was paced by training partner and below-knee amputee world record holder Amy Palmiero-Winters.[2] With a time of 4:40:46, she was the first female above-knee amputee to finish a marathon in less than 5 hours.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Dukat was one of five disabled female alpine skiers who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser, starting a scholarship program for disabled female alpine skiers at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Colorado.[19]

Dukat attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. For a number of years, she worked as an information specialist for the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability.[9] She now works at The Hartford, liaising with US Paralympics.[20][21] In this role, she won the USOC's Amazing Impact Award for The Hartford's 'Achieve Without Limits' campaign in 2011.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Athlete Profile: Sandy Dukat". A Step Ahead Prosthetics. Archived from the original on April 25, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Denver runner sets amputee marathon record". Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "In sports mind, fire is fire". Chicago Tribune. February 26, 2006. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ "World Swimming Championships 1998 Christchurch Women's 50 m Freestyle S9". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "World Swimming Championships 1998 Christchurch Women's 100 m Freestyle S9". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "World Swimming Championships 1998 Christchurch Women's 400 m Freestyle S9". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ "World Swimming Championships 1998 Christchurch Women's 800 m Freestyle open". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Sandy Dukat". AEI Speakers Bureau. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Olympic Spirit: Going Beyond Physical Limitations". Life Centre: Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ Results for Sandy Dukat from the International Paralympic Committee
  11. ^ "Retired Disabled Alpiner Dukat To Climb Kilimanjaro". Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Dukat retires from U.S. Disabled Team". Vail Daily. July 20, 2007. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Paratriathlon National Champions Return to NYC". USA Triathlon. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Physically Challenged National Team Announced". USA Triathlon. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c "USA Triathlon Announces 2008 Garmin Athletes of the Year". Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Paratriathletes shine at Nationals". Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ "USAST alumni Sandy Dukat and Willie Stewart win again". Adaptive Spirit. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sandra Dukat: Results". International Triathlon Union. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Disabilities without Borders". Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Sandy Dukat (extract)". Multichannel News, via ebscohost. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Corporate sponsorship: US Paralympics". The Hartford. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ "USOC honors key contributors to Paralympic movement with 2011 Amazing Awards". Chain Ring Sports News. Retrieved February 6, 2013.