Wildcat Athletes Headed to Paralympics

After the Olympics, there’s more global competition to check out: The Paralympic Games start Aug. 24 and run until Sept. 5.

Established in 1948, these games bring together the best athletes across the world who have a range of disabilities. During this history, University of Arizona Adaptive Athletics has sent 34 athletes and alumni to the Paralympic Games.

This year, alumnus and wheelchair rugby player Chuck Aoki became one of the first Paralympians to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Eleven additional athletes with Wildcat ties will join Aoki in Tokyo to compete for the United States.

Women’s wheelchair basketball team members

Josie Aslakson ’20

UArizona women’s wheelchair basketball head coach

Darlene Hunter ’04

Co-team captain

Third Paralympics

Won gold in 2016

Courtney Ryan ’14

Assistant coach UArizona women’s basketball, class of 2015

Natalie Schneider

Co-team captain

Fourth Paralympics

Won gold in 2008 and 2016


Wheelchair tennis team members

Bryan Barten ’99

Head coach of the UArizona wheelchair tennis program

Three-time Paralympian

Dana Mathewson ’13

Two-time Paralympian

David Wagner

Five-time Paralympian.

Winner of three gold medals, three silver and two bronze


Adaptive rowing

Kaitlyn Verfeurth

Four-time Paralympian


Wheelchair rugby team members — the team is the two-time defending national champion

Chuck Aoki

Three-time Paralympian

Winner of silver and bronze medals

Chad Cohn

Head coach of the UArizona wheelchair rugby program

Three-time Paralympian

Winner of silver and bronze medals

Lee Fredette

Two-time Paralympian

Silver medalist

Josh Wheeler

Two-time Paralympian

Silver medalist

Current student