Team USA’s Raymond Martin
Team USA’s Raymond Martin took the gold medal in the 100m September 3, 2021 at the Olympic Stadium at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Photo by Mark Reis
Team USA’s Raymond Martin
Team USA’s Raymond Martin on the medal stand with his gold medal in the 100m September 3, 2021 at the Olympic Stadium at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Photo by Mark Reis

Jersey City native Raymond Martin earned a gold medal in the men’s T52 100-meter dash in the Tokyo Paralympic Games Friday, Sept. 3. With a time of 16.99 seconds, the wheelchair racer garnered his tenth Paralympic medal since his first such Games in 2012.

In July, Jersey City Times profiled Martin in the lead-up to the games.

“This feels amazing,” Martin reported.  “The last two events [400-meter and 1500-meter] I came out with a silver medal here. It was hard to complain about those events, but it was not where I wanted to be, which was at the top of the podium. So, to get on the top of the podium in the 100-meter is an amazing feeling,” he said.

Martin was born with a congenital condition called Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a subcategory of a broader condition called Arthrogryposis, which causes contractures, or stiffening, of joints. His condition has given Martin limited movement in his limbs, neck, and face.  But he has been competing since he was five years old, when he got his first racing chair.

Martin still holds the Paralympic record of 16.79 seconds for the T52 100-meter dash (set in 2012) and the world record of 16.41 seconds for the race (set in 2019).

The events Martin will be participating in are categorized by gender, distance, and mobility. Since mobility can vary greatly among the athletes participating, participants are grouped by similar functional ability. Wheelchair racers are divided into four classes: T51 (least mobile), T52, T53, and T54 (most mobile).

With the Games behind him, Martin will resume his studies at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to become a physician’s assistant. Speculating as to whether he’d compete in the 2024 Games in Paris, which take place just months after he’s due to graduate, Martin said, “I cannot rule out Paris now.”

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Elizabeth Morrill

Deputy Editor Elizabeth Morrill has worked in business, not for profit fundraising and as a freelance copy editor. She holds degrees in American studies and education from Yale and Harvard.