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Penn State Alum Shawn Morelli Earns USA’s First Paralympic Medal In Tokyo

Penn State alumna Shawn Morelli made history for Team USA Wednesday by earning the nation’s first medal at this year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Morelli showed off impressive speed by snatching a silver medal in the women’s C4 3000-meter individual pursuit. She finished behind Australia’s Emily Petricola and ahead of Canada’s Keely Shaw.

The victory secured Morelli her third career Paralympics medal.

A United States Army veteran, Morelli launched an impressive cycling career following a 2007 deployment in Afghanistan in which she was seriously injured from an IED. She claimed two gold medals in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games for Team USA and broke her own world record in track cycling’s 3000-meter pursuit during the qualifying round.

Morelli took up cycling in 2010 before medically retiring from the armed forces two years later.

Morelli graduated from Penn State Behrend in 1998 with a degree in history.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email (mattdisanto86@gmail.com) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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