Grace Norman is 17 years old, and has a transtibial amputation. Grace enjoys running cross country and playing soccer and basketball and is currently on a High School Track & Field team competing in the 400m/800m/1600m runs. Grace wears her prosthesis for normal daily activities as well as for her athletic demands.
In 2012, Grace became one of just a few high school athletes competing on a Flex Foot Cheetah, the J-shaped carbon fiber foot worn by Paralympic athletes.
“The first time I tried on the cheetah foot, I flew forward with such speed and bounce that I scared myself,” Grace shares. “For the first time in my life I could flex my foot. It was like running on air. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I wonder how fast this thing can go?’”
Almost immediately after Grace was fitted for her cheetah foot, she was off and running.
“In less than 48 hours after receiving the cheetah foot, we had the OHSAA district cross country meet in Dayton,” Grace’s mom Robin says. “Her time dropped from 24:17 to 21:47 for 3.1 miles. It was incredible.”
Grace is training with the hope to be part of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She was recently contacted by the USA Paralympic track and field committee about running the 400-meter event and the triathlon.