Dr. Cheri Blauwet

Rural Larchwood native Dr. Cheri Blauwet is a finalist to be in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympics Hall of Fame and needs votes.

We all have the opportunity to vote for one of the most deserving people I have ever met as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame holds its online voting for this year’s hall of fame class.

Dr. Cheri Blauwet, who grew up on a farm near Larchwood and graduated from West Lyon in 1999, is among the nominees. The voting can be done on the United States Olympic Committee website at https://awards.teamusa.org/vote.

Blauwet suffered a spinal cord injury when she was 18 months old in a farming accident and has been in a wheelchair ever since.

In high school, she began competitive wheelchair racing and became a girls state champion in the 100- and 200-meter races. She still owns the Iowa State Track and Field Meet records in the 100 and 400 meters and is a member of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Blauwet attended the University of Arizona, where she continued to race competitively. She was a member of three U.S. Paralympic Teams and captured seven medals, including a gold in the 800 meters at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens.

Turning her focus to distances, she won the New York City Marathon women’s wheelchair race in 2002 and 2003, the Boston Marathon in 2004 and 2005, and the Los Angeles Marathon in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008.

Blauwet also excelled in the classroom. Graduating with honors from Arizona, she attended Stanford’s School of Medicine. She was the chief resident in physical therapy and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.

She is currently an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. She works at Brigham Health and Women’s Hospital in Boston where she is the director of the Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute. She specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Blauwet is a strong advocate for disability rights and has traveled internationally to promote and enhance disability rights. She is the chair of the International Paralympic Committee’s Medical Commission and serves on the board of directors for the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Once again, please go out and vote! Go to the United States Olympic Committee website at https://awards.teamusa.org/vote.