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June 28, 2024

Tabansky set to fulfill his dream after quota slot opens up for the Paralympic Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Jason Tabansky will be heading to his first Paralympic Games after the world number three was handed a place based upon his world ranking and following the reallocation of a slot by World Archery, due to another athlete being forced to withdraw through injury.

Tabansky, who has been representing the USA at a Para-Archery world ranking event in the Czech Republic this week, competes in W1 men and joins teammates Eric Bennett, Tracy Otto, KJ Polish, Matt Stutzman and Jordan White in Paris.

“I was in awe and a little bit of disbelief,” admitted Tabansky on hearing the news of his inclusion. “I immediately felt joy but at the same time I felt sad for the other athlete that can’t attend. Archery has blessed me with many friends all over the world and we are friends on and off the field of play.”

Though set to make his Paralympic Games debut, 40-year-old Tabansky is no stranger to pulling on the USA jersey. He retained the Para Pan American Championship title earlier this year, repeating the feat from two years ago. Tabansky also won silver at last year’s Para Pan American Games.

He will be one of three archers making their Paralympic Games debut, as well as Otto and 15-year-old White. Of the others, Bennett will be attending his fifth Games, Stutzman his fourth and Polish his third. Stutzman was a silver medalist at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

“I’m looking forward to finally getting to compete on the biggest stage for our sport,” Tabansky continued. “It’s been a long journey and I, along with those who have helped train and mentor me, have put in a lot of hard work into being at the top of my game and I can’t wait to be able to put all that training to work.”

Tabansky was born and raised in Brownsville, TX. After high school, he attended basic training in August of 2001. With the September 11 attack just a month later, Tabansky would go on to serve two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.

A Chinook helicopter mechanic, crewmember and flight crew instructor, his life would change in September 2015 when he suffered a spinal injury, leaving him wheelchair bound. Though he had lost the ability to walk, his desire to live life to the fullest had not been diminished, and he will now get to fulfill his dream of becoming a Paralympian.

Tabansky said, “Representing Team USA on this stage means everything to me. Any time I get to wear my nation’s colors, it brings out the best in me. I get to represent everyone back home and everyone who has been a part of this journey with me from nurses, doctors, friends and family, etc.”

The Paralympic Games take place in Paris from August 28-September 8.

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