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The efforts of a physically challenged person who overcomes the odds and participates in the Paralympic Games is lauded. But the efforts of such a person who rises above himself and competes in the strongest arena along with other able-bodied athletes cannot be described by words.

Here is a list of five physically challenged athletes who have participated in the Summer Olympic Games.

# 5 – Marla Runyan

Sport – Athletics

Marla Runyan – Breaking barriers

Born in Santa Maria, California, Runyan was legally blind. At the 1992 Paralympic Games, Runyan gathered worldwide attention when she won four gold medals in long jump, 100 m, 200 m and 400 m. In 1996 games in Atlanta, she won a gold in Pentathlon and a silver in the shot put event.

But, in 1999, Marla Runyan began her career in able-bodied sports. The same year, she won the 1,500m race in the Pan American Games. She qualified for the 1,500m race in Sydney and became the first legally blind athlete to participate in able-bodied Olympics. She finished 8th in the race, making her the highest placed American in the 1,500 m category.

Later, she won various 5000m races and also was the highest placed American in the 2002 New York Marathon.

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