Middlebury native wins gold at Tokyo Paralympics

Photo courtesy: Joe Kusumoto, USOPC

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – Sam Grewe, a Middlebury native and University of Notre Dame graduate, won the gold medal on Tuesday at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Grewe, who was born in Goshen and graduated from Notre Dame in 2021, won gold in the men’s T63 high jump event, jumping 1.88 meters for the gold.

Grewe narrowly missed his own world record of 1.90 meters, which he set in Lima, Peru, in 2019.  

“I was not ready to walk away with a silver again. Silver’s great, but I wasn’t ready to do it again. At that point it was game over, I knew I was getting up over that bar. I wasn’t walking away with anything but gold, and that’s what I was telling myself, I had to hype myself up. I’m my biggest critique and apparently it worked,” Grewe said.

Grewe won silver at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

His recent medal win at the 2021 Paralympics has given him the chance to reflect on the time when he was facing amputation after a cancer diagnosis at 13 years old.

“Growing up I remember thinking about my dad taking me out to the yard to throw a football with me, throw a baseball with me, go for a run and it dawned on me I wouldn’t be able to do that with my own kids someday,” Grewe said. “At 13 years old, I made that choice. That wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted, I decided to lose my leg if that’s what it takes. Here we are seven years later and that kid would be extremely proud that I made the right decision.”

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