Scot Hollonbeck

Scot Hollonbeck (born 1969) is an American wheelchair racer, who competed at the Olympic and Paralympic level. At the 1996 Olympic Games, he placed second in the 1500m wheelchair racing event. 2000 Summer Olympic Games, he placed sixth in the 1500m wheelchair racing event. At the 2004 Olympic Games, he finished 4th in the 1500m wheelchair racing event. Men's 1500m wheelchair. At the 1992 Olympic Games, he finished 5th in the 1500m wheelchair racing event. Men's 1500m wheelchairHe competed in four consecutive Summer Olympic finals, winning one silver medal and Summer Paralympics from 1992 to 2004, winning a total of two gold and three silver medals.[1]

Scot Hollonbeck
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing the  United States
Paralympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona 4×400 m relay TW3–4
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona 800 m TW4
Silver medal – second place 1992 Barcelona 1500 m TW3–4
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta 1500 m T52–53
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta 800 m T53

Hollonbeck became a paraplegic at age 14 after being hit by a van while bicycling to swim practice. Only days after the accident, while still in the hospital, he watched a wheelchair race on television where Sharon Hedrick broke the world record in the 800 meters. Having been a competitive runner he immediately became interested in the sport and attended a camp for disabled athletes at the University of Illinois the next summer.[2]

While attending Rochelle Township High School in Rochelle, Illinois, he was a member of the school's track and field team. As a sophomore, he was allowed to race in a wheelchair division. As the only wheeler he often raced in mixed heats with runners, the wheeler and runner heats were scored separately. For his last two years of high school, however, the school barred him from competing in mixed heats with runners because of safety issues. Despite the fact that Scot trained every day with the runner in mixed practices, he was deemed "unsafe" during competition. In 1987 Hollonbeck filed a lawsuit against the school system. This was the first case in the country concerning the right for disabled students to compete on their school teams. In late 1988, after he had graduated from the school, a federal judge ruled that school officials had violated his civil rights, as provided for in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, by not allowing him to argue his case. The judge did not rule on whether high school wheelchair athletes should be able to compete alongside or against their able-bodied peers.[3]

Hollonbeck received an athletic scholarship to the University of Illinois[3] and was a member of the school's wheelchair basketball and track and field teams.[2] He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia to work for The Coca-Cola Company in the Worldwide Sports Department. He continues to be a disabled sports policy expert and access advocate.


  1. ^ Scot Hollonbeck at the International Paralympic Committee
  2. ^ a b "Interview with Scot Hollonbeck". Against the Wind. WILL-TV. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  3. ^ a b Schmidt, William E. (June 27, 1988). "Student Wins the Right To Race in Wheelchair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-01.

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