Joe Delagrave | Tokyo 2020 Olympic Profile

Team USA Para Rugby player Joe Delagrave shares his journey from being a college football tight end to becoming a Para Rugby world champion.

Video Transcript


JOE DELAGRAVE: Hi everyone, my name is Joe Delagrave, and I am a London Paralympic Bronze medalist. I've been a captain for Team USA for eight years. And I've been playing on the national team for 13, so long in the tooth a little bit. But I'm so excited for Tokyo coming up, and with the postponement and everything.

And then with me being an alternate in Rio, just really excited to hopefully get back and go win gold. I've been fortunate enough to play for a long time, I was two time USA QRA Athlete of the Year. I've won World's Best 2.0 in 2014 and 2018, World Champion 2010. And so we're trying to just cap off this amazing ride with turning that bronze medal into a gold medal.

I played a year in college football as a tight end. Thankfully I broke my neck, I say thankfully because I think they would have made me a tackle. They were giving me extra food in the dorms and everything, get me to be a tackle. So I dodged that bullet having to play on the offensive line.

But now they tell you hard work right away. I remember my first practice as a freshman in college, and I was playing 7 on 7 drills and didn't realize I was lined up against a two time All-American. And he absolutely depleted me, I saw the Tweety birds and stuff like that. And got up and went to the other huddle, I went to the defensive huddle I think I got a concussion at that [INAUDIBLE] and win. And so it was all gravy from there. But no, it definitely taught you hard work. It taught you teamwork. It taught you to be where you fit into the puzzle. So I truly cherish my year there.

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