Barely 16 years old, Catherine “Cat” Bouwkamp is the top-ranked female wheelchair fencer in the United States in all three blades of fencing: foil, epee, and sabre. She is currently the only American woman Paralympic fencer qualified for the 2012 Games in London, winning her place at the 2011 Wheelchair Pan American Championships by beating her rival, Sylvie Morel of Canada.
Cat began competing internationally in wheelchair fencing at age 13 and won her first international medal in Warsaw, Poland, just 7 months after she started Paralympic fencing training. A tough competitor, she is a three-time World Cup medalist who took part in one competition just weeks after surgery, with a coach’s jacket draped over her legs to hide the post-surgery apparatus.
In London, Bouwkamp is aiming to become the first wheelchair fencing gold medalist for the United States.
Cat is blogging for MEDAL QUEST in February and March 2012.