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Success Stories Within The IDD Community: Breanna Clark

Breanna Clark is a Paralympian for Team USA. Her sport is track and field. She lives with autism, but she has never let her disability stop her from achieving great feats!

Early Life:

Breanna Clark was born on November 4, 1994, in Los Angeles, California. She has a twin brother who is named Rashard. Her mother, Rosalyn Clark, shares Breanna’s passion for track and field with her. Rosalyn was a silver medalist in the 1976 Summer Olympics in the women’s 4 x 400 meters relay. Rosalyn is also Breanna’s coach. 

Breanna Clark was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. She started the sport of track and field in high school. Clark ran on the women’s track team at Dorsey High School. She continued to develop her athleticism in college at Pasadena City College.

“I like running because it makes me feel free. I also like it because I’m good at it, which helps build my confidence. Also, it lets me travel all over the world, meet new people and try new foods.”

Breanna Clark

Career Success:

Clark has represented Team USA in the Paralympic Games, the World Championships, and the Parapan American Games. Clark runs in T20 events. In 2016, she participated in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She ran the 400 meter race and won gold. It was this race that made her a Paralympian. In fact, she was the first female athlete with an intellectual disability to win a Paralympic medal, much less a gold medal! Clark has performed in two World Championships. In 2017 (London, England)  and 2019 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), she ran the 400 meter race. She medaled gold in both of these races.

In 2018, Clark broke the world record for the 400 meter race at the Arizona Grand Prix. She set this record the year before at the World Championships in London, England. In 2019, she participated in the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. During this, she ran the 400 meter race. Once again, she won the gold medal in this race. She has been a champion in every race she has competed in!

Current Day:

Today, Breanna Clark is still a track and field runner. Although the COVID-19 pandemic put a slight hold on events, she hopes to return to various track and field competitions soon!

Be sure to check out our previous success story featuring Michael Phelps and a similar success story featuring Marty Sheets!

Sources:

https://www.teamusa.org/para-track-and-field/athletes/breanna-clark

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breanna_Clark

https://www.paralympic.org/news/arizona-grand-prix-breanna-clark-smashes-world-record

https://lasentinel.net/tag/breanna-clark 

https://www.athleteswithoutlimits.org/people/clark-breanna

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