Don’t be afraid to fail, because some of your most rewarding blessings come from your hardest failures.” – Kristin Duquette
photo courtesy: Endless Abilities

 Meet Kristin Duquette, a 22 year old passionate about disability youth, sport and empowerment.  At the age of 9, Kristin was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD).  She had to re-adapt her life and was determined not to let her disability deter her from fulfilling her goals and dreams. At 16, she went back to one of her first loves – swimming.  She had to re-learn her skills and eventually became part of her high school’s swim team.  Her swim coach encouraged her to train for the Paralympics and she trained with the determination that has become her trademark.

Kristin won 1 gold and 3 silver medals representing the United States at the Youth Parapan Games in Bogota, Colombia in 2009 and was the Captain of the U.S. Team for the Greek Open in 2010.  She competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Trials for the United States, finishing 1st in the country and 15th in the world for the 50 free (S3 classification). With support from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Kristin continues her competitions and is focusing on open ocean swims and triathlons.


Kristin, however, is more than water competitions…

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it'”

She graduated Trinity College with a B.A. in Human Rights and began her advocacy work while still in college. She founded a disability empowerment college program called A Day in a Wheelchair, promoting disability rights as human rights.   She is affiliated with the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative University and is an ambassador for One Young World, continuing to promote disability rights as human rights.

In her Huffington Post blog, Kristin wrote about the United Nations High Level Meeting on Disability and Development.  “I had the opportunity to observe this historic meeting and am happy to share how the international community values persons with disabilities in the Millennium Development Goals and beyond.  The main theme throughout the halls, speeches and side conversations was the disability rights mantra; “nothing about us without us.” This mantra alluded to the importance of a disability-inclusive environment and the international community’s commitment and support to persons with disabilities, specifically with the Millennium Development Goals, 2015 and the post-2015 United Nations development agenda. “

Kristin’s summaries of UN disability policy have been archived in the Academic Council on the United Nations System.

“Disability inclusion for all. This is the way forward. This is my hope for our world.”


Kristin Duquette – Athlete, rights advocate, inspiration

Learn more about Kristin –





One comment on “Kristin Duquette – from Muscular Dystrophy to Paralympics Athlete and Human Rights Advocate

  1. Catherine

    Great portrait of a wonderful young lady who will go very far. Go Kristin, go!

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