Desmond Jackson was born with a congenital birth defect that resulted in amputation at 9 months old. He was fitted at a young age with a prosthetic leg and though this meant regular trips to the prosthetist, his fighting spirit prevailed. Jackson competed in his first track meet at age 10 and has been running ever since. At age 16 he qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, earning the title of the youngest male track athlete to make Team USA. He went on to compete at the 2017 World Championships, placing fifth in the 100m dash. His sights have been set on Tokyo and he is ready to run.
Away from the track:
Jackson has used his time in quarantine to pursue his love of reading and painting. He enjoys learning new things, even if he doesn’t take to it easily, and values any time he spends with his family.
In their own words:
“The first track meet I went to, I think I competed in seven or eight events and I broke seven or eight different age group records. It was absolutely mind blowing and so unexpected. But from that moment we figured, why not? I knew if I put in the work I could get to that highest level.”
“I’ve been training hard these last six months and I’m just ready to compete at this point. I’m ready to go, and I know that my hard work is going to pay off and my performance should be good.”
“Over the quarantine period, I used a field that’s near my house for almost three months. Sure, it was a little different, but I’m used to grass training so it really all worked out.”
- Sport: Track & Field
- Limb Difference:
- DOB: 9/15/99
- Residence: Durham, NC
- College: Campbell University
- Previous Games: 2019|
- Classification: T42