Shawn Morelli competes in the women's C4 3000m individual pursuit track cycling at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Sept. 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Para-cyclist Shawn Morelli described the last few months as “living in limbo.” With competitions cancelled, the Games postponed and training put on hold, life has been filled with uncertainty.
“I was set and ready to go to the Games, just like everyone else. I was in the best shape I could have been,” she explained. “Now it’s kind of time to reset, re-evaluate and figure out what we want to do as far as my family goes.”
Morelli, who competed at her first Paralympics in 2016, has flipped into maintenance mode.
“It’s living in limbo - do you train hard and ultimately have your races postponed again? How do you approach the season?” Morelli laughed. “And that is exactly why I pay a coach, to figure all of that out for me. I just try to execute what he puts in the plan.”
Morelli first found Para-cycling through a rehabilitation program after she was injured in Afghanistan. Morelli served as an engineer officer in the Army.
“I took a bike into a local shop and they tuned it up for me then invited me out on their group rides,” she explained. “They basically taught me how to ride in a group, let me crash into them until I figured out how to ride a bike on the road with only one eye.”
It was that group that signed Morelli up for her first race. From there, it was only a few years before she attended her first national meet and was found by the U.S. Paralympics Cycling team.