Top 13 Moments of 2013: Megan Fisher wins third paratriathlon world championship title

By Caryn Maconi | Dec. 27, 2013, 11 a.m. (ET)
Megan Fisher
Megan Fisher won her third paratriathlon world title in Sept. 2013.

It was a thrilling year for the Paralympic Movement in the United States and around the globe. Records were broken and legacies were made. From Dec. 18-30, will unveil the Top 13 moments of 2013 for U.S. Paralympics in chronological order.

On Sept. 13, 2013, Megan Fisher was on top of the world – for the second time that month.

The paratriathlete and cyclist from Seattle, Wash., won two world championship titles in two separate sports in September. The first came on Sept. 2 at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Canada.

The second came at the International Triathlon Union Paratriathlon World Championships in London, where Fisher finished the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5k run course in one hour, 26 minutes and 27 seconds.

She crossed the line more than 90 seconds ahead of her closest competitor in the TRI-5 division, U.S. teammate Patricia Collins.

Fisher’s elite-level cycling fitness showed in the race, as she recorded the fastest bike split of all TRI-5 competitors by more than three minutes on a rainy course.

“I’m from Seattle, so the rainy weather didn’t really faze me,” Fisher said after the race. “I did the best I could to keep the power on and put distance between me and Patty (Collins). The crowd was great, everyone was cheering and it was absolutely inspirational.” 

Her gold-medal performance was one of three world titles and 12 overall medals earned for Team USA at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, which was the largest in history with 210 athletes competing from 26 countries.

Fisher’s win helped the United States to second place in the overall medal count. Hailey Danisewicz (TRI-2, Chicago, Ill.) and Ivonne Mosquera (TRI-6a, Philadelphia, Pa.) also captured world titles at the event.  

For her multiple victories, Fisher was named as the United States Olympic Committee’s Female Athlete of the Month for September.

Fisher’s win marked her third ITU Paratriathlon World Championship title, as she also took home gold at the 2009 and 2010 world championships. She is also the 2010 paratriathlon national champion in the TRI-5 division.

After the 2010 world championships, Fisher took time off of triathlon training to focus on track cycling full-time in preparation for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. There, she earned gold in the individual time trial and silver in the individual pursuit.

Fisher knew success in sports long before she became a triathlete, playing tennis for one season at the University of Montana before losing her leg the summer after her freshman year in a car accident. She graduated from Montana in 2006, beginning her Paralympic career shortly thereafter.

A lifelong athlete, Fisher quickly developed talents in the three disciplines of triathlon as well as on the bike as an individual sport. She earned her first-ever world championship titles as the winner in her division of the 2008 and 2009 XTERRA off-road triathlon series.

The sport of paratriathlon will make its debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Able-bodied triathlon is relatively new to the Olympic Games, having made its debut at the 2000 Games in Sydney. The Paralympic Games, like the Paratriathlon World Championships, will feature a sprint-distance course.   

– Lindsay Wyskowski contributed to this report