How Utah athletes did in Tokyo as Paralympic Games come to an end

The cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony on Aug. 24. (Marko Djurica, Reuters)



TOKYO — The Tokyo Paralympic Games are ending this weekend, with the Closing Ceremony scheduled for Sunday night.

On Saturday, Ali Ibanez from Murray won a bronze medal after Team USA's victory over Germany in women's wheelchair basketball.

She is the third person with Utah roots to win a medal in these Games.

In all, five Paralympians from Utah competed in Tokyo.

Hunter Woodhall, from Syracuse, won the bronze medal in the men's 400-meter dash. He came in eighth place in the 100-meter dash.

In women's goal ball, Salt Lake City's Marybai Huking played in the gold medal match for Team USA against Turkey.

Huking is coming back to Utah with a silver medal.

David Blair, who lives in Eagle Mountain but is originally from Ogden, came close to medaling in the discus throw. However, the typhoon-like weather during his competition played a part in his performance.


No matter what, we're so proud of him. I think it's amazing. He's what, like 46 soon and he's competing against these 20-year-olds and he's doing so well.

–Bethany Blair, Paralympian David Blair's daughter


At one point, Blair slipped in the rainy weather. He had six throws, but only two counted. Blair ended up in fourth place.

Still, he's a gold medal winner to his daughters.

"No matter what, we're so proud of him," said Bethany Blair. "I think it's amazing. He's what, like 46 soon and he's competing against these 20-year-olds and he's doing so well. Like, oh my gosh, I'll start crying, but I just love him so much."

Millcreek's Shelby Jensen competed for Team USA in four different wheelchair fencing events.

Her best finish was seventh in the epee team event.

However, this was her first Paralympics, and she told KSL-TV before she left that she just wanted to enjoy it all.

"I just want to do my best," said Jensen. "The medals don't matter to me, but I just want to do my best while I'm there."

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Alex Cabrero

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