Ottobock ambassador

Lacey Henderson

A bet with her dad, who claimed to be better in pole vaulting, made her start doing Para athletics. But pole vault being a non-Paralympic event, she switched to long jump.

The support of the family has always been important to her

Paralympian Lacey Henderson was just nine years old when her leg was amputated above the knee due to a rare soft tissue tumour in her knee. Lacey says, her parents raised her the same as her brother, never making her feel disabled, which pushed her to reach her full potential.

“For a long time growing up, I didn’t want my leg to be a part of what I looked like and my identity, but then it was,” Lacey said.

She continued to participate in sports such as competitive cheerleading, receiving a scholarship from the University of Denver.

Lacey contends that her amputation is just a small part of who she is:

“There’s absolutely no way I would be where I am or who I am without it, but it also didn’t dictate. It was never the boss. I was always the boss.”

Lacey Henderson, Para athlete and Ottobock ambassador

Ottobock ambassador Lacey Henderson after winning the silver medal in long jump at the Parapan American Games in Lima 2019

There is more to it than that

Lacey began her Paralympic journey with pole vault; as this event is not recognized by the Paralympics, she took on long jump as well, qualifying for the London 2012 Paralympics in her first race. Although she didn’t make the team her first try, she earned a spot at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio and finished 8th. She also qualified for the 2020 Paralympic Games, jumping to eighth place in the long jump.

The all-round-talent inspires people with her positive and happy attitude

Lacey speaks several languages, plays the ukulele and works with people of all ages and abilities by hosting running and fitness clinics. She has delivered TED Talks as well as developed her own web series and podcast called Picked Last in Gym Class, which normalizes disability and celebrates success after facing adversity.

Key facts

  • Nation: USA
  • Year of birth: 1989
  • Sport: Para Athletics – Long jump
  • Classification: T63
  • Coach: Kyle Hierholzer

Victories and achievements

  • Paralympic Games Rio 2016:
    • 8th place in long jump
  • Parapan American Games Lima 2019:
    • Silver medal in long jump
  • World Para Athletics Championships Dubai 2019:
    • 10th place in long jump
  • World Para Athletics Championships Doha 2015:
    • 5th place in long jump
    • 9th place 100 m
  • 7 x National Champion in long jump (2012 - 2018)

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