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Stephanie Wheeler on coaching college athletes with disability, winning Paralympic gold

Stephanie Wheeler is a Hall Of Fame coach and athlete who continues to inspire people across the world of adaptive sports.

Paralympics Day 9 - Wheelchair Basketball
Stephanie Wheeler has won two Paralympic wheelchair basketball gold medals as a player and one as a coach.
Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Stephanie Wheeler has done it all in wheelchair basketball. She’s won Paralympic gold as both a player (2) and a coach. She’s been inducted into the Wheelchair Basketball Hall Of Fame. And she’s a successful coach at the Univ. of Illinois.

She joins Five Rings To Rule Them All and talks about the added challenges of coaching college athletes who are disabled. Many of them come to her struggling with their disability at some level, and she empowers them through their participation in wheelchair basketball.

Wheeler is also LGBTQ and wears that part of her identity proudly as an example for others in the community.

Wheeler also opens up about balancing her demanding coaching career with her relationship. It’s something every family with a coach struggles with, and Wheeler continues to find a balance between her career and her loving relationship.

Check out my conversation with trailblazer and three-time Paralympic gold medalist Stephanie Wheeler: