A congenital amputee with upper-limb difference, Hammer played able-body sports throughout high school and ran track at Grand Valley State University, an NCAA Division II school. He first qualified for the Paralympics in 2012 in the marathon and the 1500 meters, then switched to triathlon in 2013 and immediately excelled. He won national titles in 2013, 2014, and 2017, and finished fourth at the 2016 Paralympics. In the most recent Paratriathlon World Championship (2019) Hammer took the bronze medal. He enters the 2021 Paralympics ranked number one in the world in his classification (PTS5).
Away from the racecourse:
Hammer holds a Ph.D. in Sports Psychology from the University of Utah. He is married and has one daughter.
In their own words:
“I was raised that if something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing right and you don’t quit. That was ingrained in me at a young age. That is how things were for me.”
“I like running. I like the fact you could push yourself and it’s so simple. It’s basically you trying to beat someone else, and I like that aspect of that.”
“I never, ever considered myself to have a disability and never let it be an excuse for anything. Every sport I played was played just like a regular sport.”
Prior Paralympics: 2012, 2016
- Sport: Triathlon
- Limb Difference: Congenital below elbow
- DOB: 3/30/86
- Residence: Salt Lake City, UT
- College: Grand Valley State University
- Classification: PTS4