Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Joshua George

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Brazil

Josh learned to navigate the world by wheelchair and was soon exploring everything available in the realm of adapted athletics, participating in basketball, track, field, archery, table tennis and swimming with a wheelchair sports organization for children in Baltimore, Maryland. Basketball and racing quickly became his stand-out sports.

Flying soon became a regular and important part of Josh’s existence. Competitive basketball led him to Brazil and Australia before he graduated from high school. At the University of Illinois, he began training with his now long-time coach Adam Bleakney, placed first in three Chicago Marathons and eventually took another flight. This time to Athens for the 2004 Paralympic games where he received two bronze medals and lost any remaining doubt that racing was his calling.

Four years later, in Beijing, Josh brought home silver and gold, and set a Paralympics record for the Men’s 100m. He followed up this performance with a bronze medal in the 800m at his third Paralympic Games in London as a full-fledged professional racer.

While he didn’t crack the podium at the Paralympic Games in Rio, Josh’s successes became more frequent. In the four years following the London Parlaympics Josh became a fixture in the top five at major races, success highlighted by exciting, sprint-finish wins in the 2014 Chicago Marathon and 2015 London Marathon, and 2nd and 3rd place finishes at the New York City Marathon in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Scout Bassett

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  China

One-time Paralympian (2016)
Paralympic Games Rio 2016, 5th (100m), 10th (long jump)
World Championship Experience
Most recent: 2019 – 8th (100m), 10th (long jump)
Years of Participation: 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
Medals: 2 (2 bronze)
Bronze – 2017 (100m, long jump)

Personal: Bassett spent seven years in a government-run orphanage in Nanjing, China after she was abandoned on the side of a street following the loss of her right leg in a chemical fire as an infant. Given a makeshift prosthetic leg patched together from leather belts and masking tape, she never stepped outside of the orphanage, spending her days mopping floors, washing dishes and taking care for the younger children before being adopted by an American couple from Michigan in 1995. Still learning the English language, Bassett joined sports as a way to connect with her peers. She tried basketball, softball, golf and tennis before competitively racing in track & field and triathlons. At 14, she was introduced to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), who gave her a grant to fund her training while also allowing her to attend running clinics and mentor young amputees. She worked her way to qualify for her first U.S. Paralympic Team in 2016. Off the track, Bassett still spends her time as an athlete ambassador and motivational speaker…Daughter of Joe and Susan Bassett…Adopted with two other children from a Chinese orphanage at the age of seven…Her Chinese name was Zhu Fughi…Considers U.S. paratriathlete Sarah Reinertsen the most influential person in her career…Began running at the age of 14 after being introduced to prosthetist Stan Patterson who encouraged her to participate in her first Paralympic event…Returned to China for the first time since her adoption in 2011 for the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.

Dennis Ogbe

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Nigeria

Dennis is an elite shot-put and discus thrower who has competed in numerous competitions all over the world. His competitions include, but are not limited to, the Czech Opens, Toronto Opens, multiple World Championships, Pan-American Games and the prestigious London 2012 Paralympic Games. At the USA Track & Field National Championships Dennis has won over a dozen gold medals throughout the years. He holds the US National Record in shot-put and discus throws (class F58).

As a survivor of Polio, Dennis is actively engaged in the campaign to eradicate Polio. He is an ambassador for the United Nation’s Foundation Shot@Life, UNICEF, and Rotary International. His articles advocating for vaccinations have been published on the Huffington Post and CNN. Since 2013 Dennis has participated annually in World Polio Day events. Dennis was a presenter for Rotary International’s World Polio Day: Making History (2013 and 2016) a Livestream event featured in 15+ countries.

His story was featured in the HBO documentary and book Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip by Alexandra Pelosi.

Dennis lives in the U.S. with his wife and their two children.

Anjali Forber-Pratt

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2017  –  Zambia

Anjali is an elite wheelchair racer, Paralympic ambassador, public speaker and Assistant Professor at Peabody College in the Department of Human & Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. She is a 2011 World Champion in the 200m and holds two bronze medals from the Paralympic Games in Beijing, China in addition to representing Team USA in London at the 2012 Paralympic Games. She is currently focusing her research on disability identity, inclusion, disability sport and work related to disability activism. Anjali is a born fighter and strives for athletic excellence and leading a life filled with integrity.

Cathy Sellers

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Nigeria

Recently retired from the United States Olympic Committee. Served the last nine years as the Director of Paralympic Track and Field. A track and field coach for over 40 years at multiple lev-els- High School level, Collegiate level ( Stephen F. Austin State and The Ohio State University) and Team USA.

The Rio Paralympic track and field team garnered 43 medals, more than any sport in Olympics or Paralympics since 1972.

Previously served as the Manager of the USOC Coaching program and editor of Olympic Coach magazine prior to Paralympics. Was the Manager for Development Programs for USA Track and Field for eight years managing USATF Coaching Education program, Juniors, Men and Women’s Sport Development.

A former All-American, who spent her collegiate career jumping over barriers in the 400 Hurdles, Sellers received her B.S. (All-Level HPE)from Texas Woman’s University, a Masters of Educa-tion (University of Houston) and an Educational Mid-Management certification (Prairie View A & M University).

Deja Young

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Nigeria
  • 2020  –  Virtual
  • 2021  –  Japan

Born with brachial plexus that caused nerve damage and limited mobility to her right shoulder, Young has excelled with her unique running form. A standout on her high school track team, she lettered all four years while also competing in volleyball and softball. Despite her success, she received a lot of resistance from recruiters and college coaches because of her disability. She earned a track scholarship to Wichita State University where she was All-Conference. It was at a college meet that she learned about Paralympic track and field, a path that would lead her to her first Paralympic titles at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. She also served as an athlete mentor as part of the Sports Envoy Program of the U.S. State Department to Nigeria in 2018.

Joe LeMar

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2017  –  Zambia

Joseph LeMar is a paralympic athlete that has competed mainly in the T44 400 Meter events. LeMar competed in the TS2 400m at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona winning the gold medal. He then missed his home games in Atlanta in 1996 but did return for the 2000 Summer Paralympics where as well as competing in the T44 400m and T46 4 × 400 m he won a bronze medal in the T44 800m. He now coaches high school track and field and cross country.

John Register

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2016  –  Uzbekistan
  • 2018  –  Japan
  • 2021  –  Global

Since childhood, sports have been John Register’s passion. A born athlete, he began swimming competitively at a young age, and soon added baseball, football and eventually track and field to his repertoire.

After high school, Register earned a scholarship to the University of Arkansas, where he became a four-time All-American — once in the NCAA long jump, once in the 55m high hurdles and twice on the 4x400m relay teams. Upon earning his BA in Communications in 1988, John enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he proudly served for six years. A Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran, he continued to pursue athletic excellence while on active duty, participating in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program and winning nine gold medals in the Armed Services Competition, as well as two World Military Championships.

In 1988, John qualified for the Olympic trials in the 110m hurdles, and again in 1992 for the 400m hurdles. With these accomplishments, he seemed destined to compete as a member of the 1996 Olympic Team. On May 17, 1994, however, his life would be forever altered with one misstep over the hurdle.

A faulty landing hyper-extended John’s left knee, resulting in a severed popiliteal artery. An attempt to reconstruct the artery using a vein from his right leg failed; within days, gangrene turned the muscle black, and amputation was suggested. The alternative was a useless left knee and ankle, which would restrict his movements to a wheelchair for mobility.

Though the experience was devastating, John refused to be stopped by the injury. With a strong faith in Christ and the support of his wonderfully supportive wife Alice, he chose amputation, and through the use of a prosthetic leg, he walked again – and eventually ran.

During his long journey to recovery, John began using sports as a conduit to rehabilitation. At the Brooke Army Medical Center, he began swimming for cardiovascular fitness. It was during the first few swim sessions with his personal coach that an inspiration to compete again was born. After only 18 months of rehabilitation and training, John qualified for – and made – the 1996 Paralympic Team, competing in Atlanta, Ga. in the 50m freestyle. He also competed in the finals of the 4x400m-medley relay, swimming the anchor.

While watching closed-circuit television in Athlete Village during his first Paralympics, John observed athletes with one leg running and jumping on the track. Excited by what he saw, an idea was birthed, and after being fitted with a running prosthesis, he set a goal of competing in track and field at the 2000 Paralympic Games, in Sydney, Australia.

Not only did John begin to run, he began to make history! Two years after his first run with an artificial leg, he earned the Silver medal in the long jump at the 2000 Paralympic Games and set the American long jump record in the process with a distance of 5.41 meters (17.8feet). He also sprinted to 5th place in both the 100 and 200m dashes.

John’s life has truly come full circle in his transformation from All-American long jumper to Paralympic Silver medalist. His exceptional story of courage and inspiration led him to found Inspired Communications, where he serves as inspirational speaker, helping his audiences apply life lessons learned through times of testing to focus on what is possible.

“I did not overcome the loss of my limb. To overcome the loss would mean I’d have to grow it back. What I overcame were the limits I placed on myself and that others placed on me. This is what is universal for all of us to overcome.” John Register

His powerful keynote, “Hurdling Adversity”, challenges audiences both young and old to unleash the inspiration in them. John has been a spokesperson for Hartford Insurance Company, the American Plastics Council, the Ohio Willow Wood Company, and Disabled Sports USA. He has been a solutions engine for more than 50 companies, and featured on numerous national television programs, to include: PAX TV’s “It’s A Miracle” with Richard Thomas, FOX’s “The Edge” with Paula Zahn, NBC’s “Weekend Today Show” with Sara James, and MSNBC’s “Morning Blend” with Solidad O’Brian. He has also been profiled several times in The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN Magazine and the Washington Kid’s Post.

Subsequent to his 1994 amputation, John remained active with the military- first as a civilian employee of the Army working as a sports specialist with the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, then as a program specialist with the U.S. Army B.O.S.S. (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers) Program at the Community and Family Support Center (CFSC) Headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

In 2003, he accepted a position with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), and birthed the USOC Paralympic Military Program, which uses sports to assist in the recovery of wounded, ill or injured service members. The program which serves both active duty and retired military personnel has impacted thousands in creating their new normal.

Register is both volunteer and civic-minded, and frequently engages in peer mentor visits at military and veteran hospitals, serves on numerous boards, and was one of 35 co-chairs who acted as a surrogate for President Obama’s 2012 re-election.

John is married to the former Alice Johnson. The couple has two children (John Jr. , 29, and Ashley, 21). John also is the father of Ron Register, 30. Alice and John reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Chris Waddell

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Tanzania

· Dalai Lama’s Unsung Hero of Compassion

· Thirteen-time Paralympic Medalist

· World Champion in skiing and track

· Most medals of any male monoskier in Paralympic history

· Doctor of Humane Letters, Middlebury College

· First Ambassador International Paralympic Committee

· Founder One Revolution Foundation

· First nearly unassisted paraplegic to summit Mt Kilimanjaro

· Paralympic Hall of Fame

· US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame

· People Magazine “50 Most Beautiful People”

· Skiing Magazine “25 Greatest Skiers in North America”

· NPR: The Best Graduation Speeches, Ever (Middlebury College ’11)

· NBC Paralympic Commentator (Opening, Closing, Track and Skiing)