Growing up in California, Trenten Merrill was always outdoors surfing, kicking around a soccer ball, or riding dirt bikes. In his senior year of high school, he was hit by a car while riding passenger on a dirt bike, resulting in the amputation of his right leg below the knee. One of his first prosthetists, Gary Yamamoto, pushed him to joining a running clinic sponsored by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Merrill made his international debut in 2015 at the IPC Athletics World Championships. In 2016 he competed at the Rio Games, where he placed fourth in the long jump. He has had his fair share of injuries since then, some requiring surgery, but he is ready for his chance at the Tokyo Games.
Away from the track:
Merrill completed his degree in Exercise Science at Azusa Pacific University. He wants to serve the Paralympics community and ensure that other people can enjoy the same opportunities he has had.
In their own words:
“I experienced the difference a prosthetic made in my life from an early age, giving me hope to pursue greatness. In return, I want to be able to provide that hope to as many amputees as possible.”
“I dreamed about being a professional athlete. In the hospital, I thought it was taken away from me. God had plans for me, and I see now, he sure did. It would have been news to me back then.”
Prior Paralympics: 2016
- Sport: Track & Field
- Limb Difference: Right below-knee
- DOB: 5/18/90
- Residence: Orange County, CA
- College: Azusa Pacific
- Classification: T64