Jessica Frotten makes Paralympics debut

The Yukon’s Jessica Frotten made her Paralympics debut this summer in Tokyo, competing for Canada in four para athletics events.

Frotten competes as a wheelchair track athlete under the T53 classification, typically encompassing athletes who have “movement affected to a high degree in the trunk and legs,” according to the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

At the Paralympics, Frotten raced in the 400 metre, 800 m, 1,500 m and mixed relay events.

In the 800 m heats on Aug. 28, Frotten turned in a season-best time of one minute and 56.79 seconds to place fourth in her heat and narrowly miss advancing to the finals. Madison De Rozario of Australia won gold with a time of one minute and 45.99 seconds.

Frotten was back in action on Aug. 30 to compete in the 1,500 m, finishing her heat with a time of three minutes and 52.23 seconds. China’s Zhaoqian Zhou won gold with a time of three minutes and 27.63 seconds in the 1,500 m final.

Frotten advanced to the finals of the 400 m after finishing fourth in her heat on Sept. 1 with a time of 59.98 seconds.

In the 400 m finals on Sept. 2, she turned in a time of one minute and 1.16 seconds to finish eighth, while Catherine Debrunner of Switzerland won gold in 56.18 seconds.

Frotten’s final race of the games was the four by 100 m universal relay on Sept. 2, where she teamed with Austin Ingram, Marissa Papaconstantinou and Zachary Gingras to finish with a time of 49.38 seconds, good for third place in Canada’s heat.

The United States won gold with a world-record time of 45.52 seconds.

Frotten was not the only Yukoner in Japan for the Paralympics, as Canada’s chef de mission was Stephanie Dixon, a swimmer with 17 Paralympic medals to her credit.

Jessica Frotten competes in the women’s 400m T53 final at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, on Sept. 2, 2021. (Dave Holland/Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Photo credit: Dave Holland/Canadian Paralympic Committee