Edith Wolf Hunkeler

Swiss racer Edith Wolf Hunkeler won the women’s wheelchair division of the New York City Marathon in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009. She set a course record of 1:59:30 in the first of those wins and smashed it in 2007 with a time of 1:52:38, a mark that stood until 2011.

 

The first wheelchair athlete inducted into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame, Wolf Hunkeler triumphed over adversity to achieve greatness. Paralyzed in a car accident in 1994, and after rehabilitation in several Swiss hospitals, she traveled to Florida in 1996 to learn English and began participating in wheelchair sports—first as a fun diversion, then as a serious pursuit, setting her sights on the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. Though a crash in one of the lead-up races kept her on the sidelines, she bounced back in 2001 to earn three gold medals at the European Championships, then gold in the 1500m at the 2002 World Championships.

 

Wolf Hunkeler won the Boston Marathon in 2002 and 2006 and three gold medals at the 2006 World Championships. She might have gone home with four, but in the marathon, she was involved in another crash that led to a two-month hospitalization. Told by doctors she would never race again, Wolf Hunkeler came back to win the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. Four years later, she struck gold again at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, this time in the 5000m. Wolf Hunkeler is the mother of a young daughter, Elin.

Race History

Career Highlights


Year Event Medal
2004 Athens 1500m Silver
2004 Athens 5000m Silver
2008 Beijing 1500m Bronze
2008 Beijing Marathon Gold
2012 London 400m Bronze
2012 London 800m Silver
2012 London 1500m Silver
2012 London 5000m Gold

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