Andre Kajlich named USA Paratriathlon Athlete of the Year

We interrupt your usual coverage of Seattle’s professional sports teams to bring you an update on a local athlete doing some amazing stuff, because, well, this is my blog and sometimes I feel like getting off topic.

Now, if you’ve been reading the Herald sports page regularly, you know by know who Andre Kajlich is, but in case you don’t know, here is a little background on his incredible story. And here’s one more.

Well on Monday, Kajlich was named the 2012 USA Paratriathlon athlete of the year by USA Triathlon.

Kajlich, who grew up in Edmonds and lives in Seattle, lost both legs in 2003 after being hit by a subway train in Prague, but he only started competing in triathlons in 2010. In a very short time, however, Kajlich has become a world-class triathlete, and in 2012 he won his classification at the Iron Man World Championships in Kona, and finished second at the USA Paratriathlon Nationals and the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.

Kajlich also recently became the first double amputee to compete the Brazil 135, a grueling, two-day endurance race that covers 135 miles of rugged terrain, doing so on a modified race wheelchair. You can read more about that here, though the article is in Portuguese, so you’ll need to hit the translate button.

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