April Holmes of Somerdale, who calls herself “the world’s fastest amputee,” is ready to pad her medal count at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Holmes, a world-record-holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meters who took gold in the 100 meter at the Beijing Paralympics, will defend her title as well as compete in the 200 meter event.
She also has a bronze medal in long jump from the 2004 Paralympics among a long list of accolades from championship meets dating back to 2002. The 39-year-old lives in Kissimmee, FL, and is coached by Al Joyner, himself an Olympic gold-medal long jumper.
“It’s been four long years … I am finally in the London 2012 Paralympic Village,” Holmes said in a YouTube message. “Really excited to be here. I feel like it’s taken forever for four years to go by from the time we left Beijing to the time now that we’re obviously here in London.”
Holmes' first race is Sept. 1, with the final heat Sept. 2. The 200-meter preliminary is Sept. 5 and finals Sept. 6.
Paralympians compete under a classification system that ranks disabilities based on their level of impairment. Holmes competes in the T44 classification for athletes with amputations. She lost her left leg below the knee in a train accident and competes with a prosthesis.
The Paralympics run Aug. 29-Sept. 9. For a full list of events, athletes and more, visit the London 2012 Paralympics site.