Jon Rydberg was not going to be left out. As a pre-teen on crutches, he wanted to play tennis with his friends. The solution: his dad welded a racket on one of his crutches. “My family is very competitive,” he says, “so anything we do, we must shoot for the stars.”
By the age of 15, Jon had made the transition to wheelchair tennis. He continued playing in both wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball as he went to the University of Texas, Arlington, where he helped the Movin’ Mavs win a national championship and earned his B.A. in art.
Rydberg was a member of Team USA in wheelchair tennis in both the 2004 Athens Paralympics and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. He has participated in eight World Cups teams, and won medals at two Parapan American Games: a gold in singles competition and a silver in doubles in 2007, and a gold in doubles in 2011. In February 2012 he had the honor of being named the Professional Tennis Registry’s Wheelchair Professional of the Year.
Currently, Jon coaches the women’s tennis team at East Ridge High School, Woodbury, Minnesota, and he conducts wheelchair tennis clinics for the Courage Center in Minneapolis. He has cut back on his tennis travel schedule since becoming a father in 2011, but Rydberg will be competing in doubles tennis (with Stephen Welch) in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.Back To Athletes