Roderick Townsend – Track and Field


  • World Record Holder in High Jump
  • American Record Holder in Long Jump
  • 2019 World Championships: Gold (High Jump); Silver (Long Jump)
  • 2017 World Championships: Gold (High Jump); Silver (Long Jump)
  • 2017 ESPY Award Nominee
  • 2016 Paralympic Games: Gold (High Jump, Long Jump)
  • 2015 World Championships: Gold (High Jump); Silver (4x100m, Long Jump, Triple Jump)
  • 2015 Parapan Games: Gold (High Jump, Long Jump)


Roderick has been overcoming adversity since his first breath as he was born with damaged nerve endings in his neck resulting in his right arm being much weaker than his left arm. Being born to a single, teenage mother and having a disability has never slowed him down, however.

Before his Paralympic success he ran Track at Boise State University receiving a full-ride scholarship, where he competed in the decathlon. He then received his master’s degree in Education at Northern Arizona University. While at Boise State, Roderick learned about the Paralympics through a teammate and mentor who encouraged him to compete for Team USA.

He went on to win two Gold medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, multiple World Championship medals, and is training in multiple disciplines for the Tokyo Paralympic Games taking place this summer.

In addition to his Paralympic training, he is a Track and Field volunteer coach at the University of Louisville where he and his wife, Tynita, currently reside. Tynita is also a Team USA Track and Field athlete with a list of accomplishments of her own. He also works as a substitute teacher, although this has been limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, as well as a part-time pushback operator for American Airlines at the Louisville airport. Outside of sport, Roderick is in the process of starting a scholarship foundation in his hometown of Stockton, CA. He would also love to open a group home for kids in the area to have a safe space to return to each day as well.

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