In 1994, an effort to help one man launched a global change in the way athletes with physical challenges are perceived – and perceive themselves. Jim MacLaren was an exceptional athlete, first as an amputee and then as a quadriplegic. After losing his leg in a motorcycle accident, Jim became a pioneer, achieving feats that others never thought possible for amputees, including finishing IRONMAN® in 10:42 (Top 20 percent of ALL competitors).
After a tragic second accident left him a quadriplegic, a group of friends came together and held the first San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) in 1994 to help purchase an adaptive van for Jim. The goal was to raise $25,000 and provide Jim freedom and autonomy. Over $49,000 was raised that day, and more importantly, was the birth of a community, a movement and a new term – “challenged athlete.” Since that first SDTC, over $76 million has been raised, more than 13,000 challenged athletes around the world have been funded and tens of thousands more have been motivated to make sports and fitness a part of their daily lives. Jim may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on through Team CAF.