Georgia Bulldog Jarryd Wallace Smashes Amputee 100 Meter World Record


Georgia Bulldog Jarryd Wallace won the T44 100 meter 2015 Parapan American Games gold medal in world record time. Is he running with angel wings on his feet?

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The Bulldog Nation celebrates many Glory, Glory! moments. None is more dramatic than Jarryd Wallace’s world record sprint to claim the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games gold medal in the 100m T44 (below the knee amputee) final evening.

Before the race, Wallace predicted it would take a world record to retain the gold he won four years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico. He was right. Wallace covered the 100 meter straightaway in 10.71 seconds, breaking the previous record of 10.67.

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“I was sitting in the blocks and honestly just said a little prayer,” said Wallace to Brianna Tammaro of “I knew it was going to be a fast race today and it happened. The wind could’ve gone either way, and I’m grateful to have added my name to the record books again.”

Wallace’s story is familiar to Bulldog fans. Mike Tierney of the took a close look at Wallace’s quest in 2012.

On a spring Sunday afternoon 2008, Wallace – an 800 and 1600 meter state champion at Oconee County High School just south of Athens – stepped out for an after church run. He was forced to stop when a familiar pain gripped his right leg tighter than ever.

“I look at it as a blessing . . . “

Later, determined to run 100 meters, he fell in agony. On June 22, 2010, Wallace’s lower right leg, ravaged by compartment syndrome, was amputated and eventually replaced by carbon fiber.

With one competition door locked shut forever, Wallace kicked open another. The day Wallace decided on amputation, he showed his parents a Web site listing Paralympic medalists and record-holders. “I want my name to be next to theirs,” he said.

It is.

Wallace sent an unsolicited e-mail to Cathy Sellers, director of high performance for United States Paralympics Track and Field, saying he would compete for the 2012 Paralympics team.

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Sellers was pessimistic, gently implying 2016 was a more appropriate goal.

“Nobody had the nerve to say that to my face,” Wallace said of the possibility that he may have been overestimating his ability. “I guarantee you they were thinking it.”

Sellers was half right. Wallace will compete in 2016, but also competed in 2012 U.S Paralympic National Championship, claiming a fourth place (400m) fifth place (200m), and a sixth place (100m).

Wallace Christian faith is the thread running through his story.

Wallace spoke to Alec Shirkey of the “I look at it as a blessing that the Lord took me through that two and a half years of disability from a sense of not being able to function with my leg to getting my prosthetic and having an option.”

Wallace, the son of Jeff, longtime women’s tennis coach for the Bulldogs, and Sabina, a former runner at Georgia, received a track scholarship with Georgia. The Bulldogs honored Wallace’s scholarship. “That was just a great thing that the University did,” Wallace told Shirkey.

In return, Wallace honors his Lord when he runs. It is easy to believe he runs with angel wings on his feet.

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