Name: Karissa Whitsell
Sport: Para Cycling
Classification: WB Stoker
Current Residence: Colorado Springs, Colo.

Paralympic Experience:
  • 2008 Paralympic Games, gold (time trial), silver (road race), bronze (individual pursuit)
  • 2004 Paralympic Games, gold (3km time trial, road race), silver (1km time trial), bronze (sprint)
  • 2000 Paralympic Games, 4th (3km time trial)
Career Highlights:
  • 2013: UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, 5th (time trial), 7th (road race); UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup - Cantimpalos, 6th (time trial); UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup - Matane, 8th (time trial); USA Cycling Amateur and Para Road Nationals, 1st (time trial), 2nd (road race)
  • 2012: UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup - Cantimpalos, 6th (time trial), 8th (road race); UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, 5th (sprint), 9th (100m time trial, 3km pursuit); USA Cycling Juniors U23 Elite Road Nationals, 1st (time trial)

  • 2011: Parapan American Games, 2nd (500m time trial, road race, road time trial); UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, 1st (road race), 5th (time trial); UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup - Baie-Comeau, 6th (road race, time trial); UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup - Sydney, 6th (time trial), 7th (road race); UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, 4th (3km pursuit, 1000m time trial); USA Cycling Elite Track Nationals, 1st (time trial, individual pursuit)

  • 2010: XVII Para-cycling Bizkaiko Bira, 2nd (road race); UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup - Paracyclisme route, 7th (road race)

  • 2009: UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, 1st (individual pursuit), 2nd (time trial); UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, 1st (time trial, road race)

  • 2006: IPC Cycling World Championships, 1st (time trial), 2nd (3k,1k)

Personal:
Karissa Whitsell is one of the top visually-impaired cyclists in the world, with three world championship titles and five Paralympic medals to her name. Whitsell, who currently rides with pilot Mackenzie Woodring, has been competing on the international stage since the 1990s. She made her Paralympic debut at the Sydney 2000 Games, where she finished fourth in the time trial. She followed that up with impressive three-medal performances at both the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games. In 2004, Whitsell was also named the U.S. Blind Athlete of the Year. 

Whitsell graduated from Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon in 2000. There, she competed in track and field, swimming, cross country and cycling. Although she is a full-time cyclist, she also enjoys the outdoors, including gardening and hiking. Whitsell makes her own lotions and lip balms and is also a massage therapist.