Scout Bassett

Scout Bassett

Track Athlete & Paralympian

When you surrender or quit, you give someone else or something else power over you. The only person that is going to have power over me, is me.


By Roadtrip Nation

Scout Bassett


My road in life took a while to figure out.
Was born in Nanjing, China.
When she was a baby, she lost her right leg in a chemical fire—she was later abandoned and taken to a government orphanage where she lived for seven years.
Growing up in the orphanage was an isolating and traumatic experience for her—she had little knowledge of the outside world, suffered a lot of abuse, and had mobility issues due to her disability.
When she was seven years old, she was adopted by an American couple and moved to the small, conservative town of Harbor Springs, Michigan—says it felt like “being abducted by aliens.”
She struggled to adapt to her circumstances for several years after being adopted—she didn’t speak any English, had never had a home, and dealt with being bullied by other kids.
At age 14, the Challenged Athletes Foundation helped her get a prosthetic leg that would allow her to run and play sports; says sports taught her perseverance, which she applies throughout her life.
Went to UCLA on a full-ride scholarship—began competing in triathlons and was recruited by Cathy Sellers, the director of U.S. Paralympics Track & Field.
She finished last in her first Paralympic qualifier and almost quit track—a few years later, she made it to the 2016 Rio Paralympics, finishing fifth in the 100-meter dash and 10th in the long jump.
Keep following my journey


Track Athlete & Paralympian

I am a professional track and field athlete and a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

I spend about 5-6 hours a day training including meals, pre-recovery and recovery. Lots of sore, tired, "why am I putting myself through this" days, but worth the reward.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

No matter what challenges you face, you were born to overcome. Don't let failure, disappointment or setbacks derail your purpose.


The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You can't play this sport because you have a disability."

Challenges I Overcame

Physical Issues
First-Generation Immigrant
Gangs / Violence

Interviewed By

Beating the Odds

Beating the Odds

Overcoming barriers as a first-generation college student