USAT is doing more to make the sport accessible to disabled athletes. The governing body has revised its rulebook to include a new Physically Challenged (PC) Open Division for sanctioned events. This revision provides accommodations for athletes who want to race but don’t meet classification or equipment criteria or fit into a paratriathlon medical classification.
“Paratriathlon is strictly defined by the rules of each classification category, but USA Triathlon wants to be welcoming of any athlete with a disability and as we’ve looked for ways to offer those opportunities, this has been the best option for us to include as many athletes as possible,” explains Charlie Crawford, USA Triathlon’s Commissioner of Officials.
Participation in the PC Open Division is available to athletes with a medically verified physical, visual or neurological impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The official rulebook is available at USATriathlon.com.
The new rules also stand to increase the depth of the U.S. team heading into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where paratriathlon will make its debut.