Luis Puertas lost both of his legs in 2006 while serving in Iraq with the US Army. His convoy was hit by an explosive device, and he was pinned beneath the door of his armored vehicle. Puertas participated in multiple sports as a part of his recovery, eventually settling on track and field. It was a good choice: At the 2019 World Championships, Puertas finished just off the podium in fourth place in the 200 meters, and during the US Paralympic Trials in June, he set a national record in the 200 meter sprint for classification T61. The Tokyo Games will be Puertas’ first Paralympic appearance.
Away from the track:
Puertas enjoys exploring cities and taking on new adventures when he isn’t training.
In their own words:
“I wanted to recover, get out of the hospital and get on with my life. Adaptive sports gave me the initial push I needed to get my engine rolling.”
“Being in the military I was able to wear a uniform and represent my country, but after being injured I didn’t think I would have that opportunity again. Now I’m putting on a different type of uniform, but still able to represent my country.”
- Sport: Track & Field
- Limb Difference: Bilateral above knee
- DOB: 9/8/86
- Residence: Orlando, FL
- College: Army
- Classification: T61