In 1976, Dick Traum became the first amputee to run and complete the New York City marathon. Seven years later, he started the Achilles Track Club — now called Achilles International — as a way to provide the same opportunity to other people with disabilities.
Thirty years later, its efforts have changed the lives of disabled athletes all over the world. Achilles International has chapters and members in over 65 locations within the United States and abroad. The Heisman Trophy Trust is proud to serve as a benefactor for its mission, which is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics, promote personal achievement, enhance self esteem, and lower barriers.
Running is the tool that Achilles uses to do just that. Its signature event, the Hope & Possibility, provides hope and inspiration to its participants. These 5-mile races take place in several cities around the world and consist of able-bodied runners and those with disabilities competing side by side. Awards for achievement are given in multiple disable categories, which means a first-place finish is within everyone’s grasp.
Achilles has also developed specialized programs for children, teens, adults and veterans. Achilles Kids provides training, racing opportunities, and an in-school program for children with disabilities, while theAchilles Freedom Team brings running and marathon opportunities to veterans who suffered trauma while serving in a branch of the United States military, predominantly those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Click here to join the Heisman Trophy Trust in supporting Achilles International and its cause.