Harbor Springs, MI
University of California Los Angeles ’11, Anthropology/Sociology
Bassett spent seven years in a government-run orphanage in Nanjing, China after she was abandoned on the side of a street following the loss of her right leg in a chemical fire as an infant. Given a makeshift prosthetic leg patched together from leather belts and masking tape, she never stepped outside of the orphanage, spending her days mopping floors, washing dishes and taking care for the younger children before being adopted by an American couple from Michigan in 1995. Still learning the English language, Bassett joined sports as a way to connect with her peers. She tried basketball, softball, golf and tennis before competitively racing in track & field and triathlons. At 14, she was introduced to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), who gave her a grant to fund her training while also allowing her to attend running clinics and mentor young amputees. She worked her way to qualify for her first U.S. Paralympic Team in 2016. Off the track, Bassett still spends her time as an athlete ambassador and motivational speaker...Daughter of Joe and Susan Bassett…Adopted with two other children from a Chinese orphanage at the age of seven…Her Chinese name was Zhu Fughi…Considers U.S. paratriathlete Sarah Reinertsen the most influential person in her career…Began running at the age of 14 after being introduced to prosthetist Stan Patterson who encouraged her to participate in her first Paralympic event…Returned to China for the first time since her adoption in 2011 for the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.
Most recent: 2019 – 8th (100m), 10th (long jump). Years of Participation: 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 Medals: 2 (2 bronze)