Para Triathlon

Nathan DeWalt of USA competes in the cycle leg of the Paratriathlon Male Tri-1 race in Auckland, New Zealand, 2012. (Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

Ever wanted to try three sports at once? Imagine putting together three really difficult sports like cycling, swimming and running, and push them to the limit with absolutely no breaks for any kind of fun like video games or TV? Then you should definitely scroll down for more on the para triathlon!

How it's played

Things to watch for

an athlete sits in his handcycle and uses his hands to pedal the front wheel
Jose Vicente Arzo of Spain in the Men's Individual Time Trial HC C at the Triathlon Venue at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. (Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
  • Athletes use different types of bikes, depending on their needs. 
  • They can use a handcycle, a conventional bike with adaptations or a tandem bike that their guide can ride with them.
an athlete holds the hand of their guide as they both come up the shore from the water and guides cheer them on
Ireland's Catherin Walsh and her guide Francine Meehan are cheered by swim exit handlers at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Yasuyochi Chiba/Getty Images)
  • Athletes who have a visual impairment are assisted by a guide that acts as their eyes for the entire race. 
  • They guide the athlete through all the phases of the race and react to anything or anyone that might get in their way.
an athlete has her arms around the shoulders of the handlers as they help her out of the water
USA's Patricia Collins exits from the sea with swim exit handlers during the women's para triathlon during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images)
Exit handlers
  • Exit handlers wait to help athletes who need assistance getting out of the water.
  • Cap colours: full lifting for athletes with a red cap or support assistance for athletes with a yellow cap.