Marcel Hug is the most successful wheelchair racer this decade. He won his second consecutive and third overall New York City Marathon in 2017, and with Manuela Schär became the first pair from the same country to sweep the wheelchair division titles. In 2016, he held off Australia’s Kurt Fearnley in a sprint finish in Central Park to take the tape by a whisker. Both men were given the same time—1:35:49—with Hug winning by a mere sixth hundredths of a second. Hug also won the 2013 New York City Marathon, prevailing in a five-man sprint to the finish.
In 2018, Hug won his fourth straight Boston Marathon, marking his 16th major marathon victory of his career. He is the two-time defending champion of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wheelchair Series, having won all of the series’ races in 2016, and his personal-best of 1:18:04 set at the 2017 Boston Marathon is the fastest all-conditions marathon by a wheelchair athlete in history. He finished as runner-up at the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon in 1:36:22.
Hug is an eight-time Paralympic medalist with a stellar international record on the track. He won four medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics: gold in the 800 meters and the marathon and silver in the 1500 and 5000 meters.
Born with spina bifida, Hug grew up on a farm. He has won Swiss national titles at every distance from 100 meters to 10,000 meters and is a 10-time World Para Athletics Championship gold medalist. He earned his nickname, “The Silver Bullet,” from his record-setting racing times and his chrome-plated racing helmet.