Paralympic games has former wildcat running for gold


Training with her heroes and having no fear of the Zika virus, former Chico State track runner Kim Crosby takes part in the 2016 ParaOlympic games (From Kim Crosby’s Facebook page)

Chico State track star Kym Crosby sat down with The Orion for a Q&A on her world trip to win a medal for Team USA.

It’s a blistering 95 degrees in Brazil. The lights are blindingly shinning down and the humidity is drenching, but former Chico State track runner Kym Crosby does not care. She’s about to run the race of her life.

In less than two weeks, Crosby will be running the 100-meter and 400-meter races for Team USA in the 2016 Paralympic Games on Sept. 17 and 18.

The former Wildcat, who was a part of the 2014 track team, took a moment from her training to chat with the Orion about what it is like running with a disability and the pressures of Paralympic athletics.

What’s it like to go from Chico State track to Team USA?

First of all it’s a huge honor to join Team USA. Being with Chico State and Team USA has its differences. Team USA is more like a full time job, but being with Chico was more like being with family. I love teammates being there all the time and having somebody to work out with. The team is so close knit and it was awesome knowing no matter what anybody said, everybody had each other’s back. On Team USA, even though it’s a really awesome experience, it’s a lot of hard work.

Speaking of that hard work, how are you preparing for the Paralympics?

I’m preparing for the Paralympics by trying to maintain on what I have now. I’m in a good spot and healthy. I’m doing a lot of cross training to save my legs and it’s all about maintaining right now.

Are you afraid of the Zika virus?

I’m a little afraid of the Zika virus. I know that our U.S. Olympic committee would not be sending us to a place where they didn’t feel it was safe for us to go. I know that we will be getting a kind of bug spray while we’re there.

I’ve read a lot of different articles about it and they say the chances of one of us getting the virus are low. I’m not worried about it too much. I know once I get there I’ll be really cautious of it and I’ll be using a lot of bug spray.

On a different note, what’s it like to be a runner with impaired vision?

Honestly, we’re held to the exact same standard as normal olympians. We train side by side and we all do the same work. We’re just as dedicated and driven so it’s really no different.

Kim Corsby says having 20/400 vision doesn’t make her different than any other runner, she’s just as fast. Photo credit: Orion Staff


How do you motivate yourself to go that extra mile and make sure you cross the finish line first?

In my life I had a lot of people saying that I couldn’t do sports, I couldn’t do track or that I couldn’t go any faster. I have all of that in my head and it’s pushed me to go even faster.

Who were your athletic heroes growing up?

Allyson Felix is the person I have looked up to ever since I started track. Even when I started thinking about track, I knew nothing about track. I searched it and read about what Allyson was doing and I was inspired by her.

I met her last year, but I got to train alongside her this year for a few weeks and that was pretty awesome to do.

What do you want Chico State students to know about you while down in the Rio games?

That I am working hard; I am doing everything in my power to represent Chico State and show the world just because you have a visual impairment or disability nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.

George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or @gjohnston786 on Twitter.