A track and field athlete at Norfolk State University, a historically Black university, April Holmes had settled into a telecommunications career when tragedy struck. A train accident in 2001 resulted in her left leg being amputated.
While the injury changed her life, it also led to Holmes rediscovering her passion for sport. With the help of a walking prosthetic, Holmes was competing only a year later, and by Athens 2004 she was participating in her first Paralympic Games — where she won the bronze medal in the long jump.
Holmes would go on to compete in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympics, collecting one gold medal and another bronze. But her involvement in sport didn’t stop at the finish line.
Holmes founded the April Holmes Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and medical equipment to those with physical and learning disabilities. She fulfilled a lifelong dream to become a published author when she released the motivational bestseller The Winning Way. Her skills extended into other programs as well through her work with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Let’s Move campaign with First Lady Michelle Obama.
Holmes continues to inspire and unite athletes of all backgrounds and was recently named one of the International Olympic Committee’s “Top 10 Women in Paralympic Sport” for her incredible accomplishments.