The Paralympic Games had its opening ceremony and first competitions Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, where a pair of local athletes are ready to join the action for Team USA.
Some of the games will be televised on NBC and NBCSN, with additional coverage streamed online at TeamUSA.org.
Jeff Fabry and Jerome Avery, both from Lemoore, are among the competitors from the central San Joaquin Valley in Rio:
Archer Jeff Fabry
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▪ The scoop: Fabry, 43, is an amputee and Paralympic archer aiming to defend his gold medal in the men’s individual compound event, which begins with Saturday’s ranking round at the Sambódromo. That same day, Fabry will partner with Lia Coryell in the mixed team event. Fabry won two bronze at the Paralympics Games in Athens, and one each at Beijing (bronze) and London (gold). Fabry competes from a wheelchair after losing his right arm and right leg as a result of a motorcycle accident when he was 15. Fabry, who shoots the arrow using his teeth and a pull-tab made from nylon dog leashes, has won numerous titles at the IPC World Championships and World Archery Festival. He also coached the Navy/Coast Guard Paralympic archery team at the 2011 Warrior Games and has been director of archery at Break the Barriers since 2014.
▪ Events: W1 – Men’s individual compound, mixed team .
▪ Schedule: Ranking rounds for both events begin Saturday at 11 a.m. (PT) .
▪ W1 classification: Wheelchair athletes whose arms show loss of muscle strength, coordination or range of movement .
▪ Instagram: @breakthebarriers
Guide runner Jerome Avery
▪ The scoop: Avery, 37, is the guide runner for the world’s fastest blind sprinter, 23-year-old David Brown. The two have been a team since 2014, running side by side bound by a tether looping their fingers and communicating by touch and sound as they run. Avery guided Brown to a world record 100-meter win in their first year together, which still stands at 10.92 seconds at the Mt. SAC Relays. The two train at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Avery was a standout sprinter at Lemoore High, and was ranked No. 5 in the state in the 100 before going on to race at Fresno City College. He finished in the top 20 and top 15 at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Trials, respectively, before focusing his efforts as a Paralympic guide runner. He went to the Athens Games as a guide runner, where he helped blind athlete Lex Gillette capture silver in the long jump. At the London Games, he guided blind sprinter Josiah Jamison to gold in the 100.
▪ Events: T11 – 100, 200, 400 .
▪ Schedule: 100 – first round Saturday (five heats beginning at 6:12 a.m.); semifinals Saturday (three heats, 4 p.m..); final Sunday (3:02 p.m.). 200m – first round Tuesday (four heats, 2:45 p.m.); semifinals Wednesday (two heats, 7:51 a.m.); final Thursday (1:51 a.m.). 400m - first round Friday, Sept. 16 (three heats, 1:36 p.m.); final Saturday, Sept. 17 (2:41 p.m.).
▪ T11 classification: Track athletes with a very low visual acuity and/or no light perception .
▪ Twitter: @Mr_Jerome_Avery
▪ Instagram: @_jeromeavery_