Natalie M. Bieule ‘11
On March 8th, 2001 Natalie was involved in a car accident that resulted in a below the knee amputation. Natalie’s journey from that car accident to now has not been easy, it has been one filled with challenges and self-realization.
When Natalie’s accident first occurred, she had many doctors tell her that she was never going to do a lot of activities that she was once capable of doing. As an 18-year-old dancer with a promising career ahead, this was a difficult reality to accept. Natalie was faced with a dilemma, bury herself in a deep, dark hole or give thanks that she survived. Natalie decided that even though there was a change of wind, she simply just needed to adjust her sails. She attended Barry University and obtained a Psychology degree to pursue her aspirations to assist individuals coping with their disabilities not only physically but psychologically. However, it was not until she tried CrossFit that she realized her true potential and outlet to motivate and inspire others.
It was during Natalie’s CrossFit journey that she attended the 2014 Amputee Coalition meeting in Orlando, Florida. It was at this event that someone called out to Natalie, “You, with those legs, come over here.” That someone just happened to be a U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist, April Holmes. April was Natalie’s first introduction to the possibility of competing for Team USA at the Paralympic Games. From this encounter with April, Natalie soon met a U.S. Paralympic Track & Field national team coach and together discovered Natalie’s natural talent in the discus.
Natalie jumped right into discus training and within four months of learning this new sport, she was invited to a training camp at U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Two months later she made the National A team and was prepared to compete at Nationals in San Mateo, California. At Nationals, Natalie set a new American Record by throwing 28.93 meters, which marked her first world ranking. Within nine months she had gone from knowing absolutely nothing about the Paralympic Games to being ranked third in the world. Shortly after making the National team and setting an American record, the Bieule family received new that they were expecting their second child. Natalie trained throughout her entire pregnancy with close supervision from her doctor. Three months after giving birth to her second daughter, Natalie won the 2015 US National title.
Natalie went on to win the bronze medal in the 2015 World Championships, while setting a new American & Americas record of 29.61 meters. Natalie works closely with The Hartford, a Founding Partner of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, helping to positively change public attitudes and perceptions about disability.
- 2015 World Championship (F44) Bronze medalist.
- American & Americas record holder Female Discus (F44)
- 2014 & 2015 U.S. Track & Field Nationals Champions (F44 Discus)
- 2014 & 2015 World F44 Discus Ranking = 3rd
- 2014 & 2015 Desert Challenge Track & Field, Gold medal (F44 Discus)