Jeremy Campbell becomes first Paralympic athlete to throw 60 meters

By Jamie M. Blanchard | Dec. 22, 2012, 12 p.m. (ET)

Highlighted by the London 2012 Paralympic Games, called the greatest Games ever by International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven, 2012 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. 20-31, will unveil the Top 12 moments of 2012 for U.S. Paralympics in chronological order. 

On April 28 at the Triton Invitational in San Diego, Jeremy Campbell became the first Paralympic athlete to throw a discus over 60 meters when he threw 60.19, a new world record. That impressive feat was no fluke for Campbell as he set the world record three more times in 2012.

He set the current world record of 63.46 at the Endeavor Games in Edmond, Okla., on June 10. On that day at the University of Central Oklahoma, Campbell actually broke the world record twice – a record that he set less than a month ago at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, England – first with a throw of 62.3 and second with a throw of 63.45.

“Once I saw that the distance of my first throw was longer than I thought, I knew it was going to be a good day,” said Campbell, a native of Perryton, Texas. “Breaking the record not only validates how hard I’ve been working, but also motivates me to keep pushing. My throw isn’t perfect – I can go farther.”

At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Campbell narrowly missed setting the world record again, but took the gold medal with a Paralympic-record throw of 60.05.

“It wasn't my best day. It wasn't bad, as I went 50-plus, but I was expecting to go a lot bigger,” Campbell told the International Paralympic Committee. His top rival, Dan Greaves of Great Britain, won the silver medal.

“Eighty-thousand people rooting for the guy that’s not you can become quite hostile. That definitely played a role. I just don’t know. I think I peeked a little early in my season, but it just happens and it’s a learning experience and I’m glad I learned off a win.”

With the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championship, July 19-28, in Lyon, France, Campbell remains the only Paralympic athlete to have thrown over 60 meters in competition.

The International Paralympic Committee contributed to this report.