Name: Terry Hayes
Sport: Wheelchair Fencing
Discipline(s): Epee Wheelchair Fencing, Foil Wheelchair Fencing, Saber Wheelchair Fencing
Event(s): Team Saber, Category B Saber, Category B Foil, Category B Epee
Classification: B
DOB: 8/16/1958
Hometown: North Fort Meyers, Fla.
College: Tidewater Community College ‘86, Associate in Applied Science in Teacher Training for the Developmentally Disabled; Barton College ‘90, Elementary Education K-6 (bachelor’s); Old Dominion University ‘97, Early Childhood Special Education (master’s), Advanced Certificate in Infant Intervention; George Mason University ‘02, Assistive Technology for Special Populations from Helen A. Keller Institute for Human Disabilites (post graduate certificate)
Team/Club: Southwest Florida Fencing Academy
Coach(es): Charlie Johnson (foil and epee coach), Dr. Brent Myers (saber coach)
Paralympic Experience
  • One-time Paralympian (2020)
  • Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, 7th (Epee Team), 8th (Foil Team), 12th (Individual Sabre), 14th (Individual Epee)
World Championship Experience
  • Most recent: 2019 - 9th (Team Saber), 22nd (Category B Saber), 25th (Category B Foil), 29th (Category B Epee)
  • Years of Participation: 2019
  • Top Finish: 9th (Team Saber), 22nd (Category B Saber), 25th (Category B Foil), 29th (Category B Epee)
Personal: Her family includes her Wife Freda Routt, mom, twin sister, older sister and dogs Sandy Fay and Shelly Ray...Enjoys fencing, shuffleboard, making movies, creating glass mosaics, crafts, dancing and visiting with friends...Her favorite fencing memory is winning her first NAC medal and the opening ceremony at the World Games in Sharjah...Something people would be surprised to know about her is that she was selected to carry the Olympic torch for the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake City 2002... Before Hayes became a fencer, she was a special education teacher helping preschoolers learn motor skills and independency...Served in the U.S. military as a heavy equipment operator...In 2011, she was diagnosed with primary cerebellar degeneration, an incurable but treatable neurological disease...The nerve cells deteriorated and died in her cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls coordination and balance, resulting in her being paralyzed from the waist down...After her diagnosis, Hayes went to a sports camp for disabled women and fell in love with sports in her desire to maintain her freedom...Fencing was a good fit because she could participate in a wheelchair with one arm, since one of her arms is weaker than the other.