Who is Jillian Elwart? Family, Married Life, Kids, Biography, Wiki

Jillian Elwart, a 40-year-old American athlete, specializes in the 200-meter kayak sprint. At the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships, she finished fourth in the VL3 Women’s 200m event. She has also qualified for the Paris Paralympics in 2024.

Jillian Elwart qualifies for the Paris Paralympics 2024

Jillian Elwart, a prosthetist at Shriners Children’s Shreveport Hospital, has qualified to take part in the Paris 2024 Paralympics. She will compete in the para canoe/kayak sprint event, which is a fast race head-to-head requiring great strength and skill.

For the past seven years, she has worked hard and followed a rigorous training schedule to achieve her dream of participating in the games. During weekdays, Jillian goes to the gym at 5 a.m. before work and again in the evening for weight training. On weekends, she travels to Little Rock, Arkansas, and Oklahoma City for water practice sessions. She spends an hour and a half on the water at 9 a.m., followed by another training session at night.

“The amount of people who believed in me and saw my potential throughout my life has been inspiring,” “I know I have a lot of friends and patients at Shriners Children’s who will be cheering me on this summer, and I want to make them proud. I hope I’m a role model for the kids I serve. I want them to know regardless of physical differences you can do what you set your mind to.”

Elwart said.

How Jillian Elwart got introduced to Kayaking

Jillian Elwart was born in 1983 in North Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. When she was born, she had a condition called proximal femoral focal deficiency, which required her to have many corrective surgeries as a baby.

Due to this condition, her right leg was amputated above the knee, and she also had surgery to correct webbed fingers on her right hand, leaving her with only a thumb and two fingers. Five years ago, Jillian went on a holiday involving white water rafting in Mexico.

This trip introduced her to kayaking, and she tried kayak sprinting for the first time at the Endeavor Games. She immediately loved this sport. Jillian studied at Cal State, Dominguez Hills, and later worked as a certified prosthetist at Shriners Children’s Shreveport, which is the same hospital where she received treatment from the age of three.

Jillian with her Friends Camping
Image: Jillian with her Friends Camping (Source: Jillian’s Instagram)

When not kayaking, Jillian works as a pediatric prosthetist for Shriners Hospitals for Children. She enjoys kayaking because it allows her to be outdoors and push her physical abilities. Her hobbies include camping and spending time outdoors.

Jillian practices kayaking weekly at Lakewood Lakes in North Little Rock. She is dedicated to helping her community and now works to assist children at the very hospital where she was treated as a child

Jillian Elwart is a Single Mother

Jillian Elwart is a single mother. Her daughter’s name is Abigail Elwart. Abigail is just starting her second year of college. Recently, Jillian got a couple of cats to join her family.

Jillian with her Daughter Abigail Elwart
Image: Jillian with her Daughter Abigail Elwart (Source: Jillian’s Instagram)

She jokes that if she gets one more cat, she will become a “cat lady”! In addition to being a mom and a new cat owner, Jillian has also returned to kayaking after taking a break. She came out of retirement in April and is back on the water practicing her sport.

How Jillian Elwart started to represent the US

In 2018, Jillian competed for Team USA at three major kayaking events over the summer. These were the Nationals in Oklahoma City, the World Championships in Portugal, and the Pan American Games in Nova Scotia. At the 2018 ICF Paracanoe World Championships, she finished in 6th position with a time of 1 minute 15.812 seconds.

Also See: Who are Para-Rowing player Skylar Dahl’s Parents? Her Biography

The following year in 2019, Jillian took part in the 2019 ICF Paracanoe World Cup. She scored 1 minute 5.112 seconds, which secured her 8th position in the semi-finals of that competition.

Elwart’s Road to Paris Paralympics

In 2020, Jillian Elwart gained attention for her remarkable journey as she worked towards her dream of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She was one of only four American para-kayakers who qualified to travel to Tokyo, Japan to prepare for the Olympics. This showcased her great determination and passion for the sport.

In 2021, Jillian trained intensely for a competition in May, aiming to secure one of the remaining four spots in her division for the Tokyo Paralympics. Her dedication and focus highlighted her goal of competing at the highest level and representing the USA internationally.

Jillian started kayaking as an adult, but took a break during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so she did not participate in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics. However, she did not give up.

In 2022, Jillian finished in 7th position at the 2022 ICF Paracanoe World Championships in the Women’s VL3 Senior 200 event with a time of 1 minute 6.688 seconds.

In 2023, Jillian took part in the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships. Competing in the VL3 Women’s 200m event, she secured 4th position, showcasing her skill and determination. She had also finished 5th at World Cup 1 in Szeged, Hungary.

What caused Jillian’s Injury

Jillian was born with her right leg not properly formed and her right hand having only a thumb and two fingers. She uses a General Purpose Gripping Aid to help her grip her paddle tightly while kayaking on the white water rapids in Arkansas, USA.

Jillian before her Leg was amputated
Image: Jillian before her Leg was amputated (Source: Jillian’s Instagram)

Jillian quickly became very talented in para-kayaking. Soon after, she competed in kayaking events at both the national level and international level.