Chester Triplett and Michael Bissett compete in the 2021 U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open on April 18, 2021 in Huntsville, Ala.
U.S. Paralympic Team Trials Dynamic Duos, presented by Samsung is a three-part series of stories highlighting pairs on their journey to U.S. Paralympic Team Trials and the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Chester Triplett openly admits this path is not what he imagined for his life. He was going to be in the Army as his long-term career, and then retire decades down the road.
But like most good stories, Triplett’s saga took a hard twist that changed everything.
He started losing his vision in the late-1990s, thanks to a degenerative macular disorder called Stargardt’s Disease. The serious changes in his vision also resulted in him leaving active duty to an honorable discharge from the Army in 2001. That turned his life toward college and finding different ways to live life.
Triplett took to Para-cycling, finding a great group in his hometown of Charlotte to ride with.
That’s when the unexpected path really gets interesting. Triplett met fellow cyclist Michael Bissett, and they decided to team up to ride tandem about two years ago. They spent 2020 training, with races canceled due to the pandemic. They debuted this year, winning the road and time trial at the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open in April. They were then 11th in the road race and 14th in the time trial in their first world cup race the following month in Belgium.
Next they’ll be competing on June 19 in the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials in Minneapolis.
“I’ve told my family that this is my priority right now, this is extremely important to me, Chester and my wife Emily,” Bissett, 32, said about their shared dream of reaching the Paralympics for Team USA. “Chester and I consider myself this part of a vocation. We want to do our very best and reach the highest level we can.