Nichole Millage

The backstory:

Nichole lost the lower part of her left leg in a boating accident at age 21. A lifelong athlete, she took up sitting volleyball in her late 20s and made her Paralympic debut in 2008 as a 31-year-old rookie. Team USA brought home the silver that year and again in 2012, losing in the finals to China both times, before breaking through for the gold in 2016. The 2021 Games will put in Nichole in the rare category of four-time Paralympian.

Away from the court:
Nichole works for the city of Champaign, Illinois, as an environmental sustainability specialist. She has an MBA from the University of Central Oklahoma.

In her own words:
“I’ve already made it known that I’m retiring after Tokyo. It’s not that I want to stop playing, but I’ve been doing it for so long that it feels like the right time to move on. I’ve had to work really hard to prove myself as to why I should make the roster, and I’ve been doing everything I can to continue to be an asset for the team.”

“[The postponement] has made me stronger. It’s made me a better team player. My role and responsibility on the team is to be an ear for the younger players who have dreams, who have questions, who might need encouragement. I really relish that role.”

Learn more:
* Daily Illini, “Paralympian Turns Disability Into Ability”
* Champaign News-Gazette, “From Lowest Low to Highest High”
* National Alliance for Youth Sports, “Nichole Millage on the True Value of Sports”
* Video: “I Feel Like This Is Our Time”
* Team USA


Paralympian 2008, 2012, 2016

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  • Name: Nichole Millage
  • Sport: Sitting Volleyball
  • Limb Difference: Left below knee
  • DOB: 3/27/1977
  • Residence: Champaign, IL
  • College: Central Oklahoma
  • Previous Games: 2008, 2012, 2016