Nine U of I Para Athletes on Team USA

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill (WAND): Athletes for Team USA's World Para Athletics Championships were announced today.

Team USA is made up of 50 competitors - nine of them University of Illinois athletes.

Wheelchair Track Head Coach Adam Bleakney says he's proud of his athletes.

"Anytime the athletes achieve their goals - and for those nine making the US team was the first step in a goal of hopefully modeling at World Champs - that's always rewarding," says Coach Bleakney. "That's a big part of the job and why I enjoy being a coach."

The athletes train twice a day, six days a week.

Athlete, and Team USA member, Kelsey Lefevaur says the heat this past week has added some intensity to the workouts.

"About ten training sessions a week, it's pretty tough," says Lefevaur. "The heat has been a challenge this week and I'm not sure it's going to let up before 'Worlds.'"

Lefevaur says the Illini athletes are lucky because they get to do everything as a team.

"Something that's really cool about our program here is that we do train together everyday," says Lefevaur. "So you get to celebrate the successes of everybody as well as be there if things don't necessarily go the way you expected them to and I think that that's really comforting."

World Championships are in London this year from July 14th to July 23rd.

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