Who is US Wheelchair Basketball player Kaitlyn Eaton? and what’s her Disability?

Professional Olympic athlete Kaitlyn Eaton has been chosen to compete for the United States in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. She previously competed for the United States of America in the Summer Olympics of 2020, when she took home a bronze medal. More recently, she earned the gold medal at the Parapan American Games, earning her team a spot in the Paris Olympics.

American Wheelchair Basketball Player Kaitlyn Eaton is now qualified for the Pairs Olympics 2024

By winning gold at the Parapan American Championships, the team has qualified for a spot at the Paris Paralympics. Now Eaton has won to fight for a spot on the Team USA Paris Summer Paralympic Games team and has been selected in the national team because of her hard work and dedication.

“I’m excited. There’s still a lot to be done between now and then but I’m really, really excited, it’ll be fun.”

Eaton said.

When Kaitlyn Eaton was born? Meet her Mother Jill

Kaitlyn Eaton was born on August 17, 1994, in Houston, Texas. She finished her college degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2017 and then went on to get her graduate degree in Social Work/Healthcare from the same university in 2021.

Eaton is the daughter of Jill Eaton, who is a single mother. Kaitlyn is thankful for her mom, Jill, who has empowered and inspired her.

Eaton has a brother named Josh, and a twin sister named Kelsey.

By the time she was in 5th grade, Eaton started using a wheelchair full-time. Even as a child, she was very active, keeping up with her older brother and twin sister in her own way.

Kaitlyn Eaton Family
Image: Kaitlyn Eaton with her family (Source: Kaitlyn’s Instagram)

Although she wasn’t very interested in sports when she was young, Eaton joined the TIRR Memorial Hermann Junior Hotwheels Wheelchair Basketball Team in Houston during her sophomore year of high school. That’s when she discovered her passion for basketball.

After high school, Eaton got a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where she earned her college degree in community health in 2017. She is now working on a graduate degree in social work at UIUC while also training for the Paralympic team.

Playing wheelchair basketball has been very rewarding for Eaton, both emotionally and financially. The sport even led to her getting a college scholarship. Eaton was relieved to find basketball after struggling to find activities she could participate in as a child since her schools were not equipped to accommodate her.

Kaitlyn Eaton is Diagnosed with a rare birth defect

Kaitlyn Eaton was born with a rare health condition called sacral agenesis. This means the bones in the lower part of her spine are missing or misshapen, which has affected the development of the bottom half of her body. Because of this, she has never had functional legs.

Different persons are affected differently by sacral agenesis; Eaton is one of them who is completely devoid of feeling and unable to stand on their own. For Eaton, that meant she was unable to support herself or balance. She had to crawl or use a wheelchair to move around as a child.

Growing up, Eaton underwent around 10 operations at Shriners Hospitals in Houston. These surgeries were to give her more flexibility in her body and help her fit more easily into the wheelchair she uses for playing basketball.

Despite the challenges of her rare condition, Eaton is a shining example of hard work and determination. Nothing has stopped her from achieving her dream of becoming a Paralympic athlete. Her perseverance is truly inspiring.

Kaitlyn Eaton is a Lesbian

Kaitlyn Eaton is openly lesbian. She has been in a relationship with a woman named Ally Dent, since May 20, 2020.

Kaitlyn Eaton with her Partner Ally Dent
Image: Kaitlyn Eaton with her partner Ally Dent (Source: Kaitlyn’s Instagram)

Eaton is proud of her sexual orientation and is open about being a lesbian.

Starting to fall in Love with Basketball

Kaitlyn Eaton started playing wheelchair basketball when she was just 5 years old. But she fell in love with the sport when she joined the TIRR Memorial Hermann Junior Hotwheels Wheelchair Basketball Team in high school.

Eaton was looking for an elective to take in high school, but her campus didn’t have any sports for students with disabilities. She searched online and found the local wheelchair basketball team. Her coach, Genny Gomez, encouraged Eaton to keep practicing and even pushed her to continue playing in college.

Over the years, Eaton has dedicated a lot of time and effort to training and improving her skills. She’s been playing wheelchair basketball since she was 16 years old. All that practice and working with her team has really built up her confidence and understanding of the sport.

Competing in the Olympics

Kaitlyn Eaton has been a member of the US national wheelchair basketball team since 2017. She has competed at the college level for the University of Illinois as well.

In 2018, Eaton represented the United States at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championship, where her team finished in 6th place. The next year, in 2019, she won a silver medal competing for the US in the wheelchair basketball tournament at the Parapan American Games.

The US national team has taken Eaton all over the world to compete, including places like Colombia, Germany, Peru, Australia, and the Netherlands. She then made the final roster for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, where she won a bronze medal as part of the US women’s wheelchair basketball team.

Most recently, in 2023, the US team won the gold medal at the Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile. This victory also qualified the team for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

To prepare for these major competitions, 26-year-old Eaton alternates between weightlifting, basketball practice, and cardiovascular workouts in her wheelchair. She also makes sure to dedicate time on the weekends to recovery.

Even after 11 years of playing wheelchair basketball, Eaton remains deeply passionate about the sport. She loves the thrill of competing against the best players in the world.