Barbara Buchan had only one goal in mind when she entered her fifth Paralympic Games in Beijing, and it was win her first-ever gold medal. At 52 years old, she was the oldest member on the U.S. Paralympic Team at those Games and in thrilling fashion, she won two gold medals in the individual time trial (LC3/LC4/CP3) and the individual pursuit (LC3-4/CP3).
Originally, Buchan competed in track and field. She was inspired to win an Olympic gold after watching the 1972 Games in Munich. By 1982, she was considered one of the top U.S. cyclists until she was in a horrific road-race accident that shattered her skull and put her in a coma.
After surgeries and years in rehab, Buchan remarkabley returned to the track and won the silver medal in the 800m at the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul. When women's cycling was first included in the 1992 Gamers in Barcelona, Buchan switched over to cycling, and she continued to find success on the bike.
At the 2009 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships, Buchan earned the gold medal in the individual pursuit (CP3) and also took the bronze medal in the time trial (CP3). That same year at the Road World Championships, she took home the gold in the individual time trial (CP3). Then, the following year at the 2010 Road World Championships, Buchan continued to make the podium as she earned bronze in both the individual time trial (C2) and individual road race (C2).
Buchan was the 1972 state champion in the mile while she was a student at Mountain Home High School in Mountain Home, Idaho. She competed in cross country and track and field there for three years and graduated in 1974. Buchan received her bachelor’s degree in athletic training/teaching from Boise State University in 1978. For four years, she participated in the Regional Finals in track and field at Boise State.
She is the director for Team USabled, a non-profit organization for disabled children. When she’s not training on the road or track, Buchan enjoys doing ceramics and other art projects.
- 2011: Fourth place, individual time trial and individual pursuit (C2) – UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari, Italy
- 2010: Bronze medal, individual time trial (C2); Bronze medal, individual road race (C2) – UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships, Baie-Comeau, Quebec
- 2009: Gold medal, individual time trial (CP3); Fifth place, individual road race (CP3) – UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships, Bogogono, Italy
- 2009: Gold medal, individual pursuit (CP3); Bronze medal, time trial (CP3) – UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships, Manchester, England
- 2008: Gold medal, individual time trial (LC 3/LC 4/CP 3); Gold medal, individual pursuit (LC 3-4/CP 3) – Paralympic Games, Beijing, China
- 2007: Silver medal, road time trial – IPC Para-Cycling World Championships, Bordeaux, France
- 2006: Silver medal, road time trial – IPC Para-Cycling World Championships, Aigle, Switzerland
- 2000: U.S. Paralympic Cycling Team Member, Sydney, Australia
- 1992: U.S. Paralympic Track & Field Team Member, Barcelona, Spain
- 1988: Silver medal, 800m – Paralympic Games, Seoul, Korea