Racine MultiSports likes to spotlight athletes who participate in Racine MultiSports events who have overcome challenges they may face and inspire all of us through their dedication and perseverance. This month we are spotlighting amazing athlete Jeff Quelet.
Jeff Quelet, a long-time competitor in many Racine MultiSports races, including multiple 5ks, Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon, and Swim Fest Fort Ritchie, says his family makes fitness a priority around their lives. He is active in the sport of triathlon, swimming, running, biking, skiing, water skiing, and much more. His wife is a Girls on the Run coach and a personal trainer. Their 3 kids are active in many sports as well. Jeff has accomplished much in various sports, and to hear his list of accomplishments, you would never know he has a physical challenge.
When Jeff was just 10 years old he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and required a transfemoral (above the knee) amputation of his right leg. He then had to undergo chemotherapy which made him lose energy, but after 18 months he was ready to get back to sports. He rejoined his youth swim team which allowed him to feel like he belonged and he really enjoyed that he could participate in a sport without having to wear his prosthetic. He also went on to try Skiing and water skiing. Two activities he had never tried before his amputation. In high school he went out for the wrestling team and had a great experience. Jeff said “I may need to do a sport with adaptive equipment running legs, out riggers for Skiing or a single water ski but I still can participate and feel the thrill of accomplishment.” And he’s incredibly good at it too. Jeff has 5K finishing times of 40 minutes on crutches/ adaptive sport prosthetic.
Jeff Quelet crossing the finish line at the 2016 Swim Fest Fort Ritchie
Jeff says his early motivation was his Mother’s encouragement. Later he received support from other Amputees as motivation. Currently his inspiration is his wife and children. Now he encourages others with physical challenges to participate in athletic endeavors and even helps to make that happen as owner/practitioner of Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics. He also has participated in adaptive ski programs for amputees.
Jeff stated, “We need to encourage everyone because some people with disabilities feel they might not accomplish an activity however as long as we try everyone feels a sense of accomplishment. Activities like running, swimming and biking make you feel excited and oxygenated. Anyone can feel the sense of accomplishment.”
If you have ever met Jeff you cannot leave a conversation with him without a smile on your face. He has such a magnetic and positive personality and truly is an inspiration to all.
If you know an athlete who participates in Racine MultiSports events and has an inspiring story let us know. Please contact Laura: Laura@racinemultisports.com.