On June 22, Clark Rachfal of Annapolis, was nominated to for the U.S. Para-cycling team to compete at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Clark Rachfal began competing as a blind tandem cyclist with his sighted pilot, Dave Swanson (Tucson, AZ) after being introduced at a developmental cycling camp hosted by the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center in 2006. The following year the duo would compete for the U.S. Para-cycling National Team.
“The nomination of Clark and Dave to the Paralympic Team is a testament to their hard work and dedication toward athletic excellence,” said Mark Lucas, executive director of USABA. He continued to say, “We are extremely proud for them to represent Team USA and USABA and wish them the best of luck in London. I would also like to give a special word of thanks to Dave for his selflessness as a volunteer pilot for Clark.”
After narrowly missing the Beijing Paralympic Team in 2008, Rachfal and Swanson became stalwarts of the U.S. Para-cycling Team in 2009. That year, Rachfal and Swanson won a World Championship on the velodrome in the 4km Pursuit at the 2009 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. In 2011, Rachfal and Swanson added the overall UCI Road World Cup Title and a Time Trial bronze medal from the UCI Road World Championships to their international accolades.
“This team nomination proves how far Dave and I have come since we began racing together in 2007. It is a nice validation of all our hard work and support we receive from U.S. Paralympics staff and our personal sponsors such as Verizon Communications, the Challenged Athletes Foundation , PowerBar, USABA and Velocity USA. Dave and I know there is still plenty of work to be done, but it is comforting to know we are on the right track to perform at the level we expect as we push towards the London Paralympic Games ,” said Clark Rachfal.
The 2012 London Paralympic Games are August 29 – September 9, succeeding the London Olympic Games by two weeks.