Track and field star Trenten Merrill speaks to HollywoodLife about the significance of ‘training smarter, not harder’ ahead of competing at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Track and field Paralympian Trenten Merrill lost his right foot after he was struck by a car at the age of 14, resulting in an amputation — but that did not stop him from chasing his professional athlete dreams. Now 31, the American record holder in long jump for his classification (with a leap of 25 feet and 5.5 inches, to be precise) is headed to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
The athlete made his Paralympic debut in Rio in 2016. This time around, his quest for gold begins on September 1. His biggest competition this year (besides himself)? “My biggest competition besides myself is this German long jumper and his name is Markus Rehm,” Trenten recently admitted to HollywoodLife. “I have great competition and I am just going to go out there and fight to win!”
Trenten’s positivity is something that has never wavered, even on the day of his accident at 14. “When I was in the hospital, [I still had] hope that I could be an athlete again,” he told HL. “When I received my prosthetic, that was one of the turning moments. . . I knew I could get through it.” He continued, “When failures and setbacks have happened to me, positivity is something God gave to me. He let me know that I was created to go through all the hardships I was meant to go through… I want to help a lot of people with my public speaking or writing books.”
Trenten Merrill (courtesy)
Ahead of his first competition in Tokyo, the Paralympian spoke to HL about his preparation process,