Team USA handcyclist from Lowell brings home the gold

LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — A Team USA hand cyclist from Lowell is a world champion, winning four gold medals.

At 23, Kate Brim was invited to join the American team this summer and for the past few weeks has been traveling across Canada to compete in handcycling races. She participated in the World Cup in Quebec the first week of August, where she won two gold medals in the time trial and the road race. She then competed at the World Championship in Baie Comeau, Canada, where she won two more in the same categories.

Brim started handcycling after recovering from complications from minor surgery at the age of 19. Due to the procedure, she slowly lost her strength and function and developed a spinal cord injury at the C4 level. She underwent rehabilitation for a month at the Mary Free Bed before undergoing outpatient therapy for a year and a half.

After recovering, Brim began to get into sports and competition, which she says “set me on fire.” She joined the Grand Rapids Thunder wheelchair rugby team and later the Mary Free Bed handbike team.

Her first year competing in handcycling came in 2021, when she won the women’s handcycling division of the Amway River Bank Run. From there, she competed in the U.S. National Para-cycling Championships, where she placed well enough to join the U.S. team.

“I’m not going to let this injury define where I’m going in life,” Brim said.

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