Want more behind-the-scenes content from the 2019 Parapan American Games? Follow Team USA athletes on their social media accounts as they compete in Lima, Peru beginning on August 23. Paralympic athletes have plenty to share, from their training regimens to their adorable families and children. See below for seven athlete Instagram accounts that deserve your attention and are worthy of a follow:
Abby Dunkin, wheelchair basketball
If you're looking for wheelchair basketball content, look no further than Rio 2016 gold medalist Abby Dunkin's account. The New Braunfels, Texas native posts plenty of action photos from competitions. She's committed to helping the team on its journey to qualifying for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, using the hashtag #RoadToTokyo2020 in her posts for that extra bit of motivation.
me realizing how numb my shoulders really are from nonstop ball and travel over the past month☠️ we had a great week training and competing against Canada in a few friendly games in preparation for the ParaPan American Games just around the corner🇺🇸👀 #TeamUSA #per4max #wheelchairbasketball #KarateKid #OrJustinBieber
Dunkin isn't afraid to post photos from the team's training sessions. Her facial expression during a team plank is extremely relatable.
Lacey Henderson, track and field
Paralympic long jumper Lacey Henderson (Denver, Colorado) lives a busy life and has plenty of photos to share from it. She balances training, doing speaking engagements, hosting her own podcast entitled "Picked Last In Gym Class" and much more.
What is possible with conductive headphones is changing with @Aftershokz NEW Aeropex headphones. The sound quality is insanely good while still being able to hear the world around you (like the call tent since it’s comp szn) AND they are waterproof so no matter how much sweat they’re drenched in, they’re all good to go😎 perfect for summer training in Texas since I’m back to harder training again gearing up for some majors coming up! ‘Yuge thank you to @calebkerr 📸
Her adorable dog, Paisan, is also featured on her feed. Needless to say, that is one cute partner in crime:
I have had this little weirdo for 2 years now and could not be happier or love him any more than I do right this moment. 💕 I impulsively adopted the saddest dog at the shelter during one of the hardest times in my life and we have both grown, healed, and sold all our stuff then moved halfway across the country together. Paisan is now “about 4 years old,” has emotional trauma that makes him hate most dogs, is a little skiddish but mostly loves attention and snuggling people. I don’t know what his life looked like before me in South Phoenix but I do know now he sleeps on a memory foam bed and eats gluten free in the number one city to live in America. 🐕
Chuck Aoki, wheelchair rugby
Two-time Paralympic medalist Chuck Aoki (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is no stranger to the cycle of competitions -- this will be his second appearance at the Parapan American Games. Follow the wheelchair rugby veteran as he posts about training for his sport, hobbies (reading, watching sports, etc.) and everything in between.
Aoki also has plenty of fun while recovering after tough workouts. Just take a look at his use of Normatec sleeves:
Clara Brown, cycling
Clara Brown (Falmouth, Maine) is a national champion Para-cyclist, but she also loves to travel and get outdoors. Follow her to see more photos of her in competition, as well as exploring:
Brown also likes riding her bike as a way of exploring new places. Adventurers, bike lovers and cyclists, Brown's feed is for you:
Jamal Hill, swimming
Swimmer Jamal Hill (Los Angeles, California) may be committed to being the best at his sport, but he's also committed to another goal: teaching one million people how to swim. Hill posts instructional videos on his feed, which hopefully will help more of his followers feel comfortable in the water:
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When I say, “I’m going to teach 1,000,000 people to swim,” ✅ I mean 1,000,000 ‼️ __________________ Tickets for the June 29th SwimUpHill Clinic are almost sold out 🙏🏾Only 8 spots left. Come and have your stroke improved by World Class Olympic level swimmer, Jamal Hill. LINK IN BIO📲 - - - - #swimuphill #cmtstrong #blackkidsswim #afroswimmers #proswimmer #swimdrills #swimtechnique #swimmodel #swimpro #swimstrong #swimseason #swimworkout #swimmingcoach #mastersswimming #swimming_time #swimfast #swimtraining #swimm #littleswimmer #swimmerproblems #fitnessmen #swimminglessons #swimlife #swimmingtime #michaelphelps #swimmers #swimsuits #swimmer #swiming #swimmingpool @dai_kon @swimtorrancesocal @rev_nation1 @bgcpasadena @luckyduckswimschool
Hill worked with director John Duarte on a new documentary that shares his story with viewers. Check out clips from the film on his feed:
DOCUMENTARY RELEASE 07/03✅ “A Paralympic swimmer from Inglewood, Jamal Hill has blazed through boundaries. Once fully paralyzed from the neck down, and now top ranked in the United States 🇺🇸 “ Documentary team: @swimuphill @iamjohnduarte @alani.media @martinrunel @sosandrine @tony_cortez_30 @arifpiercephoto @healingwithwilma •• •• #swimuphill #cmtstrong #blackkidsswim #afroswimmers #proswimmer #swimdrills #swimtechnique #swimmodel #swimpro #swimstrong #swimseason #swimworkout #swimmingcoach #mastersswimming #swimming_time #swimfast #swimtraining #swimm #littleswimmer #swimmerproblems #fitnessmen #swimminglessons #swimlife #swimmingtime #michaelphelps #swimmers #swimsuits #swimmer #swiming #swimmingpool
Kaleo Maclay, sitting volleyball
Kaleo Maclay (Honolulu, Hawaii) may be a two-time Paralympian for the U.S. women's sitting volleyball team, but she's also a mother to her adorable son, Duke. See more of Maclay's life, which is filled with her sport, family, her own business decorating cookies and much more!
It's definitely safe to say that Kaleo, her husband Matthew and Duke are #GOALS. Take a look at their all-smiles photo shoot here:
Today was truly one of the greatest days I’ve had 💫shot with @keiichinitta for @wowowparalympic ⭐️ and it was a family affair!! Swipe to see us with THE LEGEND! I am so stoked to be a part of what WOWOW Paralympic is doing and CAN NOT wait for what’s to come!! Thank you again to the whole team for today 💛 @keiichinitta @wowowparalympic @rizumi0504 @hiroki_asano_ @kapenahawaii
Casey Ratzlaff, wheelchair tennis
Get to know one of the up-and-coming stars of wheelchair tennis in the United States, Casey Ratzlaff (Wichita, Kansas). The 20-year-old has had a huge year so far in 2019, winning men's singles at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden Wheelchair Championships, Sirius Open in Zagreb, Croatia and the Camozzi Open in Brescia, Italy:
Ratzlaff posts photos and videos of his competitions, training and much more. He's definitely putting in work to continue his success, and can even be found practicing during his Thanksgiving holiday: