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Two-time World Championship medalist Scout Bassett arrived in Tokyo with hopes of competing in her second Paralympic Games. But after suffering an injury just before the Paralympic Trials, and arriving at the Games still plagued with uncertainty, competing for a medal simply wasn’t in the cards this time. “One face you will not see competing in Tokyo is my own . . . I am proud that we fought and battled, but ultimately we fell short this time around,” Bassett wrote on Instagram in late August, before adding: “My story as an athlete is not over. I’m using this experience to drive and fuel me even further next year and beyond.”
Despite her disappointment, Bassett has transitioned effortlessly from competitor to NBC commentator during these Games. In an essay for POPSUGAR, Bassett credited her difficult childhood — as a baby, she lost her right leg in a chemical fire and later lived in a government-run orphanage in Nanjing, China, for seven years — for giving her “a grit that propels me forward,” both as an athlete and an advocate for the Asian-American and disabled communities. “Asians are largely underrepresented in the media and in mainstream sports, and I hope that as a Paralympian and an athlete, I can help inspire a generation of young Asian-Americans to dream big,” she said.
Whether on the track or in front of the camera, Bassett is doing just that. Curious to know more about one of the most prominent faces of the Paralympic Games? Keep reading.