South African Para-Athlete Darren Thomas Secures Bronze at Wodapalooza, Miami


Cape Town, 18 January, 2024 – South African para-athlete Darren Thomas is returning home triumphantly after clinching the bronze medal at the prestigious Wodapalooza CrossFit event held in Miami, Florida, USA over the weekend.

The Wodapalooza event, now in its 12th year, stands as one of the world’s premier Functional Fitness Festivals, bringing together thousands of athletes, spectators, and fitness enthusiasts over four days. The competition allows both able-bodied and adaptive athletes to compete on the same stage, promoting inclusivity and showcasing the extraordinary capabilities of individuals like Darren.

Darren competed in the Adaptive Seated division, making history as the first adaptive male CrossFit athlete from Africa to compete internationally in this challenging arena.

Despite facing a life-altering event in 2007, where an armed housebreaking incident left him paralyzed from the chest down, Darren’s indomitable spirit and dedication have led him to this moment of international recognition. Formerly excelling in national-level rugby, Darren’s life centered around sports and activity until that tragic night when he confronted intruders in his home, sustaining life-threatening injuries. The shooting incident, which left him wheelchair-bound, became the catalyst for a remarkable story of resilience where Darren has not only overcome the physical challenges but has emerged even stronger than before. Yearning for the next adrenaline-fueled rush, Darren’s journey into CrossFit began in 2021 when adaptive athletes were permitted to compete.

“I’m truly humbled by the overwhelming support that made this achievement possible. The donations, messages of encouragement, and motivation from people I’ve never met have been incredibly special. I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed—every little bit counts. Special gratitude must be given to my friends in the USA who covered my family’s costs to join me on this trip. My support system, the ones I fight for every day, being there means more than words can express. I’ve worked tirelessly, driven by grit and determination, turning a once-dreamt goal into an incredible reality.” – Darren Thomas

Darren can now add another chapter to his incredible story of courage and in achieving what most would consider, daunting, in every aspect. Darren would like to thank his sponsors for making  this journey possible. These  include: Daytona Group, Lottostar and Motimoves.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact the writer. Submitted on behalf of Darren Thomas by NerdNarrative:

·         Mikateko Maswanganyi

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