I believe I am my toughest opponent because I always expect greatness out of myself!
April Holmes has always worked hard and played hard. "I had a life-altering incident in January 2001 that changed my life, and by the grace of God, I've been able to get back to doing what I love, and that's track and field."
"My schedule is dictated by competitions, so I sit down at the beginning of the season with my coach Al Joyner (brother of Jackie Joyner, he won a gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games in the triple jump), and set some goals, look back at the last season and determine my strengths and weaknesses".
|Amputation||Below the Knee|
|Main Events||100m, 200m and Long Jump|
Paralympic Games, London, UK
US Paralympic Championship Trials
IPC Athletics World Championships, New Zealand
IPC World Cup Championship - 100m
Who has been the biggest supporter in your career?
"My family has been my greatest supporters. They have made the journey with me daily and to both the Athens and Beijing Games."
Who first got you interested in your sport and who influenced you to take up a competitive sport?
"I got started running at the age of 5 since my uncle had a track team. My mom believed that you should keep kids busy to stay out of trouble. So she put us in as may things as possible, but I loved running and stuck with it. After college, I lost my leg then the doctor that did the emergency surgery was the person to introduce me to Paralympic sports."
What has been your best career highlight so far?
"After winning the gold in London, I was able to lead the field of competitors around the track on a victory lap. I found great joy in it since it gave us an opportunity to thank the people of Beijing and the world for their support of the movement and athletes."
Who has been your toughest opponent and why?
"I believe I am my toughest opponent because I always expect greatness out of myself."
What is your ultimate sporting ambition?
"To break my world record at the Paralympic Games!"
Who in your opinion is the greatest athlete ever? / Do you have an idol for your sport?
"Michael Jordan is the greatest athlete ever. I idolize the athlete that has persevered through obstacles in countries that do not have adequate medical or training resources but yet they have made it to the games on sheer determination and talent. "
What are your favorite Össur products and why?
"My Cheetah is my favorite Ossur product because it has allowed me to run around the world and break records. People have so many questions about it and kids always want to try it on. It’s the ultimate conversation piece. "
What specific support has Össur provided for you, technical or otherwise?
"The engineers and marketing team at Össur have been amazing. They have produced the greatest products and done an awesome job of promoting us. "
How has Össur contributed to your success?
"Össur has allowed me to compete in the greatest products with the greatest athletes in the world. It is great knowing you have a product that you love and trust."
Do you have an inspirational quote or motto that you use?
"Somebody prayed for me so the least I can do is go out and be do my best. Someone has to be great…why not me?"
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
"Keep praying and have fun in all you do."
Do you have any pre-event superstitions?
"As far as pre-event I try to make sure I have a meal complete with some sort of fruit. I always find a way to listen to music and pray before every race. Before putting on my uniform, I have to run my hand across it to appreciate the occasion."
Who would play you in a film of your life?
"Who better to play me than me!? Otherwise, I think I would like someone like Demi Moore, Angelina Joliet, or Jada Pinkett-Smith. I feel like my life has been an athletic adventure complete with obstacles, which I have seen these women conquer masterfully."
What is on your iPod when you are training?
"I am a huge fan of various types of music. I love Usher, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, and Jay-Z. However depending on the mood and the competition, I am likely to listen to an genre between R&B, Rap, Rock, Pop, Gospel or anything that is hot."
Tell us something we'd be surprised to know about you?
"I have an iPad and have always wanted to be a DJ and/or play the drums. So, I have apps on my phone to help me sharpen up on my skills. I have a long way to go, but I am sharpening up my skills daily!"
What is the worst part of your training regime?
"The worst part about training is there never seems to be enough competitions to race against other female amputees. It is my greatest hope that the sport continues to expand to young women in ALL regions so they can learn that there are sporting options for all persons. "
If you weren't an athlete what would you be doing?
"I love travelling around doing motivational speaking engagements for companies and schools. Otherwise, I have a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing so I would be doing Sports Marketing for elite athletes."
What do you like doing outside of your sport?
"Outside of my sport I love hanging out with kids or just hanging out at my house. I have a huge family and it is always great to be around them for good time and great food."
When you have time to see your friends, what do you like to do?
"My friends and I like to clown around a bunch and share stories about our lives or families. We also enjoy going out to have some wine or dancing. Laughing is a huge requirement for our girls' night out. Sometimes we go see movies and they always want to see “tear-jerker” movies then laugh at me when I shed a few tears. "
April Holmes had been a high school 400m champion, later securing multiple NCAA All-American and CIAA honors as a sprinter at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA, where she earned her BS in Mass Communication. Raised with a hard work ethic which she has honed with a will of steel, she was still in a hospital bed recovering from a below-the-knee amputation following a train accident, when she made up her mind to become a Paralympian.
World record holder
Today, this Paralympian owns the world records (women's T44 classification) in the 100m, 200m and 400m dashes. At the 2008 Paralympics she came back from a bad fall in the 200m to win a Gold medal in the 100m. She has become a successful athlete and role model at home and abroad. April wears the Flex-Foot Cheetah® made by Össur for all track and field competitions. For everyday walking, Holmes wears Össur's Ceterus® and Vari-Flex® feet. She enjoys the Ceterus® for the rotation it offers - as well as the ability to adjust shock absorption - and the Vari-Flex® for its exceptional energy return, which allows her to get around effortlessly.