At the 2008 Beijing Games, his first Paralympic Games, John Ruf won a bronze medal in the 1-person keelboat. At the 2009 2.4mR World Championships, Ruf captured the gold medal, proving that he was the best in the world.
As a youth, Ruf learned to sail X-boats from his grandfather and mother and then he moved to M-16 Scows and E-Scows. He spent much of his childhood shuttling between doctors and hospitals after a tumor was discovered on his spine, but he still sailed. After a car accident, a wheelchair became his mode of transport, but he jumped right back into sailing. He discovered the 2.4mR while flipping through a sailing magazine during his recuperation.
The 2000 U.S. Paralyampic Team Trials were his baptism into the 2.4mR, a singlehanded class that also attracts able-bodied sailors. Ruf had never singlehanded before and was used to conferring with crew on tactics and having extra hands for trimming sails.
Ruf now works as an attorney in
- 2009: First place, 2.4mR – 2.4mR World Championship, Ft. Myers, Florida
- 2008: Bronze medal, 2.4mR – Paralympic Games, Quingdao, China
- 2007: First place – U.S. Paralympic Team Trials, Newport, R.I.
- 2007: 10th place – IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships, Rochester, N.Y.
- 2006: Second place – 2.4mR North American Championships, Chicago, Ill.
- 2006: Sixth place – U.S. Sailing Pre-Trials, Newport, R.I.