Kylie Grimes Just Became the First Woman to Win Paralympic Gold In Wheelchair Rugby

Prior to Grimes' gold medal win, Canada's Erika Schmutz had been the only woman to medal in the sport after taking home bronze at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

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This year's Paralympic Games are chock-full of history-making moments. Not only did American swimmer Anastasia Pagonis break a world record after scoring Team USA's first gold medal in Tokyo last week, but British athlete Kylie Grimes just became the first woman to ever win a gold medal in wheelchair rugby.

Over the weekend, Great Britain defeated the United States in a match to take the gold. The victory not only marked the UK's first-ever medal in the sport, according to NBC Sports, but Grimes also etched her name into the history books as the first woman to win gold. "Wheelchair rugby is for all of us — young girls, young boys, youth, everybody," said the 33-year-old athlete following Sunday's win. "I would love to get more women involved in the sport. The more the merrier, I'd be delighted." (

Wheelchair rugby, which made its Paralympic debut at the Sydney Games in 2000, is played by mixed teams of men and women, according to the Paralympic Games' official website. Grimes is one of four women competing on a wheelchair rugby team at this summer's games. She is joined by Kurahashi Kae of Japan, Sofie Sejer Skoubo of Denmark, and Shae Graham of Australia, according to NBC Sports.

A lifetime athlete, Grimes was involved in a diving accident in 2006 and sustained a life-changing spinal injury. She began competing for the London Wheelchair Rugby Club in 2010, according to the Paralympics' official website. "After my accident, I knew I had to get straight back into sports, not only for the health benefits and to get physically strong again, but because of the social aspect and being around people. It really helped me to focus on something and work towards a goal. I was hooked on the fast pace and extreme full contact between the rugby chairs. I had to play this sport," she previously said.

Grimes made her wheelchair rugby debut in 2012 at the London Paralympic Games. Four years later, at the Rio Games, she competed in Para athletics, also known as track and field. Prior to her gold medal win over the weekend, Canada's Erika Schmutz had been the only woman to ever win a medal in wheelchair rugby. She took home bronze at the Beijing Games in 2008. (

Following Sunday's gold medal win, Grimes took to Instagram on Tuesday to reflect on the moment she called "a dream come true." "Sport has literally been my life, I live and breathe it. From an able-bodied kid dreaming of being an Olympian. To a hurdle that changed the direction of my life to disability sport. Finding teammates that'll be friends for life and making history!" wrote Grimes on Instagram. "Training was relentless, my body is broken but I've truly loved every minute of my 3rd Paralympics with the boys. If you don't succeed, go again and again and again until you get what you dream of."

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