Downers Grove, IL
Name: Kendall Gretsch
Date of Birth: April 2, 1992
Hometown: Downers Grove, Ill.
Current Residence: Colorado Springs, Colo.
High School: Downers Grove North High School (Downers Grove, Ill.), ‘10
College: Washington University in St. Louis ’14, Biomedical Engineering
2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games gold medalist
Three-time ITU Paratriathlon World Champion (2014, 2015, 2016)
Two-time World Triathlon Paratriathlon World Championships silver medalist (2019, 2022)
Five-time USA Paratriathlon National Champion (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Five-time PATCO/CAMTRI American Championships gold medalist (2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021)
Eight-time World Triathlon Para Series event medalist (4 golds, 4 silver)
Four-time World Triathlon Para Cup medalist (2 golds, 2 silver)
Two-time Paralympic gold medalist in Nordic skiing (6k biathlon, 12k cross-country)
Kendall, who was born with spina bifida, grew up swimming and competed on her high school’s swim team. Kendall currently competes in cross country skiing and biathlon during the winter and paratriathlon in the summer. She made her Paralympic debut as a winter-sport athlete, winning two gold medals in Nordic skiing at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. She became involved in triathlon after her sophomore year of college, after she was encouraged to join a local paratriathlon club, Dare2tri, while at a swim practice. From there she was hooked on to the sport. She especially loves the positive community aspect of triathlon, as well as being able to race outdoors. She is inspired the most by her fellow teammates because she takes motivation from seeing them work hard in practice every day. The biggest satisfaction she gets out of competing in sports is seeing her own personal growth and having the ability to push herself as hard as she can to get better. She finds satisfaction in competing in both a summer and winter sport because she is always in a racing season, so it forces her to maintain a competitive mindset all year. In 2014, Gretsch was named the USA Triathlon Female Paratriathlete of the Year, and in 2015 she was nominated for an ESPY for Best Female Athlete with a Disability. She became a Paratriathlon Gold Medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and is a three-time World Paratriathlon World Champion, earning the title in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Elite Triathlon Career
2022: Started her season earning the silver medal at the 2022 World Triathlon Para Series event in Montreal, Canada on July 8 • Came in second overall at the 2022 World Triathlon Para Series competition in Swansea, Great Britain on August 6 • Became a World Champion runner-up by coming in second at the 2022 World Triathlon Paratriathlon World Championships in Abu Dhabi on November 24 • Alongside fellow paratriathlon national team members Hailey Danz, Owen Cravens and Chris Hammer, earned the silver medal at the inaugural exhibition Paratriathlon Mixed Relay event in Abu Dhabi.
2021: Won a gold medal at the World Triathlon Para Series opener in Yokohama, Japan, on May 15 • Took gold at the World Triathlon Para Series Leeds on June 5 • Won the 2021 Americas Triathlon Para Championships in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, on June 27 • Claimed her first Paralympic gold medal competing in paratriathlon at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games on August 29
2019: Won the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships on March 9 • Earned a silver medal at the Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series on May 18 • Won the Besancon ITU Paratriathlon World Cup on June 16 • Took home a silver medal at the Magog ITU Paratriathlon World Cup on July 13 • Earned a win at the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships on July 20 • Placed fifth at the Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup on Aug. 17 • Took silver at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Sept. 1
2018: Started her triathlon season in June with a win at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, just three months after winning two gold medals in Nordic skiing at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games • Claimed victory at the Magog ITU Paratriathlon World Cup on July 14 • Earned a silver medal in October at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, held in a duathlon format
2017: Won her third national title at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
2016: Continued her undefeated ITU career by claiming wins at the Sarasota CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships and the Rotterdam ITU Paratriathlon World Championships
2015: Started her season with a win at the Monterrey CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships • Claimed her second national title at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships • Collected gold at the Detroit ITU World Paratriathlon Event • Successfully defended her women’s PT1 world title at the Chicago ITU World Triathlon Grand Final
2014: Won her first-ever elite ITU paratriathlon race at the Dallas PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships • Took gold at the Magog ITU Paratriathlon Event • Won a world title in the women’s PT1 class at the Edmonton ITU World Triathlon Grand Final • Claimed her first national title at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships