LWW Senior Competes in Parapan American Games on Team USA

Lincoln-Way West senior Austin Spalla spent his Thanksgiving break representing Team USA as a track and field athlete at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.  

Spalla had been playing wheelchair basketball through the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association when one of his teammates told him about adaptive track and field. He joined the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, where he became a very competitive local athlete. His local success led him to compete in the International Wheelchair and Amputee Games (now called World Ability Sports) in Portugal last year. He also made it to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Nationals last May, which is where he qualified to try out Parapan American Games Team. 

Having this opportunity feels like my childhood dreams finally coming true,” said Spalla. “Representing Team USA means so much to me.” 

Austin has a busy year ahead, as he prepares to run track in college this fall. In addition, his performance at the Parapan Games put him on the national B team, and his competitive streak won’t stop there. He also hopes to make the World’s team in May, a competition that would take place in Kobe, Japan next year, as well as making it to the Paralympic Team trials in July, followed by the Paralympics in Paris in August 2024.