UArizona wheelchair tennis players at the Paralympic Games | Local

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TUCSON (KVOA) – More than a dozen past, present and future University of Arizona athletes are proud to represent their country at the Paralympic Games. This list includes UArizona wheelchair tennis head coach Brayn Barten.

He is about to compete in his third Paralympic tennis match. Barten said he was proud to be a role model for other wheelchair victims.

“Someone who sees me maybe playing tennis with my disability, it might encourage them to try it themselves,” Barten said. “Sport is so important for our mental well-being.”

Barten will represent the USA wheelchair tennis team as an athlete with a lot of experience. He also participated in the London games in 2012 and the Rio games in 2016.

“Everyone has a unique situation,” Barten said, as he spoke about some of the challenges of playing wheelchair tennis, “My grip is very weak, so I stick the racquet to my hand, so I am stuck in a grip so it’s a challenge early on Moving the chair, mobility, is very strategic so having the strength to move the chair in a strong way [is important]. You can’t just move, if someone hits the ball high above you and then points above, then I have to move, recover, then return the ball.”

Here is a list of UArizona athletes and their involvement in the Paralympic Games:

United States Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team

  • Darlene Hunter (team co-captain) Paralympic third won gold in 2016
  • Natalie Schneider (co-team captain) Paralympic fourth won gold in 2008 and 2016
  • Josie Aslakson (New University of Arizona women’s basketball head coach, graduated last semester) first-time Paralympian
  • Courtney Ryan (University of Arizona women’s basketball assistant coach (graduated 2015) first-time Paralympian

wheelchair tennis

  • Five-time Paralympian David Wagner. Two bronzes, three silvers and three golds
  • Three-time Paralympian Bryan Barten (Head Coach of the University of Arizona Wheelchair Tennis Program)
  • Dana Mathewson, two-time Paralympian (University of Arizona graduate)

Adapted Rowing

  • Kaitlyn Verfeurth four-time Paralympian, three-time first in tennis. This time she’s going there as a rower who graduated from UArizona in 2013)

Wheelchair rugby (remember that our wheelchair rugby team are the current double national champions!)

  • Chuck Aoki, third Paralympian, bronze medal winner (2012) silver medal winner (2016)
  • Chad Cohn, third Paralympian bronze medal winner (2012) silver medal winner (2016) (current head coach of the University of Arizona wheelchair rugby program)
  • Lee Fredette, two-time Paralympian winner of 2016 silver medals
  • Josh Wheeler, two-time Silver-winning Paralympian 2016 (full-time students at the University of Arizona)
  • Daisuke Ikezaki, two-time bronze-winning Paralympian 2016 (Team Japan)
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