Paralympics to Feature 4 Team USA Members with Prominent Purdue Connections – Purdue Boilermakers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will be represented in Tokyo again as four Boilermakers will be on site for Team USA at the Paralympic Games, the premier international showcase for adaptive sports.

The Paralympic Games are slated for Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 at the same venues that hosted the Olympic Games earlier this summer in Tokyo.

The quartet of Boilermakers in Tokyo for the Paralympic Games includes a current assistant coach with Purdue women’s swimming & diving, an alumna from the women’s swimming & diving program and two incoming freshmen at Purdue. That group includes…

Evan Austin (Swimming/Purdue Assistant Coach) – As a three-time Paralympian, Austin has been selected among the three captains for the U.S. Para Swim Team. The Terre Haute native and Indiana State alumnus began training at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center in the fall of 2019 while also serving as a volunteer assistant under head coach John Klinge. He was on site with the Purdue women at the last two Big Ten Championships in Iowa City and Minneapolis. Austin qualified for the Paralympic Games in the 50-meter butterfly (S7), 200-meter individual medley (SM7) and 400-meter freestyle (S7). He was victorious in the 50 fly at the 2019 Para World Swimming Championships. Earlier this year, Austin set American records in the 200 and 400 free at the Para Swimming World Series in Texas. He has spastic paraplegia.

Makayla Nietzel (Swimming/Freshman Student at Purdue) – Nietzel enrolled this month at Purdue in the College of Health and Human Sciences. The Crystal Lake, Illinois, native qualified for the Paralympics in the 100-meter butterfly (S13) and 400-meter freestyle (S13). With her Crystal Lake co-op teams, she won multiple state titles in the freestyle events and 100 breaststroke. She’s also an Illinois state record holder. Nietzel is legally blind due to a genetic visual impairment called albinism. She also has Asperger’s syndrome.

• Joel Gomez (Track & Field/Freshman Student at Purdue) – Gomez enrolled this month at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and plans to major in industrial engineering technology. He qualified for the Paralympics in the 1,500 meters (T13). The Encinitas, California, native raced at the 2019 Para World Athletics Championships and won a pair of gold medals (400 and 1500 meters) that same year at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships. Gomez is legally blind due to a genetic visual impairment called blue cone monochromacy.

Julie Dussliere (Chief of Paralympic Sport for the USOPC/Purdue Alumna) – Dussliere oversees the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s high-performance planning and support processes and sport development projects for the 27 summer and winter Paralympic sports. She also directs the day-to-day operations for the six Paralympic sports managed by the USOPC, a list that includes swimming and track & field at the summer Paralympics. She began her USOPC career in 2003, joining U.S. Paralympics as an associate director and head coach of the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team. Dussliere swam at Purdue in the early 1990s and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Russian from the university’s School of Languages and Cultures.



All Days/Times Converted to USA’s Eastern Time

All Start Times are for that Day’s Session of Competition

Stream the Action on NBC Sports & Peacock Apps
Start Time Boilermaker Event Notable Watch
8 p.m. Makayla Nietzel 100m Butterfly (S13) Prelim Heats; Event 13 of 16 in Session NBCSN,
4 a.m. Makayla Nietzel 100m Butterfly (S13) Final – Top 8 in Prelims Qualify; Event 13 of 16 in Session NBCSN,
8 p.m. Evan Austin 200m IM (SM7) Prelim Heats; Event 11 of 14 in Session
8 p.m. Makayla Nietzel 400m Freestyle (S13) Prelim Heats; Event 14 of 14 in Session
4 a.m. Evan Austin 200m IM (SM7) Final – Top 8 in Prelims Qualify; Event 11 of 14 in Session NBCSN,
4 a.m. Makayla Nietzel 400m Freestyle (S13) Final – Top 8 in Prelims Qualify; Event 14 of 14 in Session NBCSN,
8:30 p.m. Joel Gomez 1,500 Meters (T13) Prelim Heats; Event 6 of 14 in Session
8:30 p.m. Joel Gomez 1,500 Meters (T13) Final – Top 8 in Prelims Qualify; Event 4 of 17 in Session
8 p.m. Evan Austin 50m Butterfly (S7) Prelim Heats; Event 7 of 16 in Session
4 a.m. Evan Austin 50m Butterfly (S7) Final – Top 8 in Prelims Qualify; Event 7 of 16 in Session NBCSN,

Evan Austin on Purdue’s role in his road back to the Paralympics (via “New coach, new system, it’s a different style. And now I’m the only adaptive sport athlete and I train exclusively with college-age women on the Purdue swimming and diving team. So the environment’s certainly different. I like it. On meet days I’m on the pool deck saying this is how we can do better, this is how we can perfect strokes and things like that. And then the next day I’m right back in the water with them. It’s been an interesting dynamic that’s definitely changed my mindset and my mind frame.

“Like, here’s this guy who knew (former) assistant coach Molly Belk coming in and saying, ‘Hey, I’m here to help you guys get better, and also I’m going to train with you.’ I didn’t know if they’d have some walls or some reservations about that, and they could not have been more welcoming. From day one I felt like I was a member of the family there and the bond has only grown in the last two years.”

Players Mentioned

Julie Dussliere

Julie Dussliere

US Olympic & Paralympic Committee