JOIN TEAM USA

Are you looking to compete for Team USA in track and field on the world's largest stage? U.S. Paralympics Track & Field is seeking elite sprinters to serve as guide runners for athletes with visual impairements in their journey to the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Guide runners have the opportunity to give back to the sport and carry out their pursuit of competing on the highest level by training with elite coaches and competing all over the world with Team USA.

“The benefits of being a guide is you can continue your love of the sport of track and field. Being a guide allows for you to give back to the sport, train with coaches at the highest level, and give you opportunities you may never had in your own personal pursuit of success.” - Jeremy Fischer, coach of 4x Paralympic medalist Lex Gillete and Wes Williams

 

If you're interested in learning more about guide running for Team USA, including what guide running is and about the Paralympics, read the frequently asked questions below and fill out the guide pool survey so we can learn more about you and your competitive background.

We look forward to working with the next generation of Team USA elite guide runners!

 

<< CLICK HERE IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A GUIDE >>


Guide Running FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

WHAT ARE THE PARALYMPICS?

The Paralympic Games are the third largest international sporting event in the world and features athletes with physical and visual impairments competing in summer and winter sports. Contested two weeks after the Olympic Games, the Paralympics are parallel to the Olympics and include thousands of competitors from over 150 nations competing in 22 sports and 528 medal events in 2016.   
 
Track and field has been a part of the Paralympic program since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy, in 1960. The rules of Paralympic track and field are almost identical to those of its Olympic counterpart. Runners who have more severe visual impairments compete with sighted guide runners who are tethered at the hand or fingers with a string to the runner. 

HOW DO GUIDES WORK?

Runners who have more severe visual impairments compete with sighted guide runners who are tethered at the hand or fingers with a string to the runner. They run side-by-side with the runner in separate lanes and must finish behind their athlete when crossing the finish line. 
 
The guide's role is to be the eyes of the athlete. From assisting with positioning to aligning with the runner and communicating about where they are on the track and what they need to do to progress through the race and ultimately win, the guide is crucial to leading the athlete to the finish line safely and quickly. 
 
Guides who compete alongside of visually impaired athletes at the Paralympic Games or world championships are full members of Team USA and receive the same benefits as all athletes. Guides stand on the podium, receive medals and receive the same Operation Gold prize money as all Paralympic and Olympic athletes.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU BE A GUIDE?

Guide runners have a unique opportunity to continue their path in the sport of track and field and train with athletes and coaches at the highest level, all while helping a visually-impaired athlete achieve their Paralympic dreams. Competing across the country and the world, guide runners achieve the same level of success as their athletes. Guides stand on the podium, receive medals and receive the same Operation Gold prize money as all U.S. Paralympic and Olympic athletes.

HOW TO BECOME A GUIDE

Sprinters who are willing to assist other athletes with a visual impairment and have competitive times in the 100-, 200- and 400-meters (10.5 seconds in the 100m, 20.5 in the 200m or 47.5 in the 400m) over the last two years should consider filling out this survey. We would love to find out more about you and your competitive background by clicking this link

David Brown | Gold Men's T11 100m Final | 2016 Paralympic Games
 
  09/11/2016