San Diego

Olympian Awarded $4M For Injury on Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon Course

A champion wheelchair athlete was awarded millions of dollars after being injured during the Rock 'n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego in 2014.

Craig Blanchette, a former Olympian and world-record holding wheelchair racer, filed a claim against race organizers after suffering major injuries when a portion of the course was changed the morning of the race, and he wasn't notified.

The downtown San Diego race route was altered near 11th Avenue and B Street, dropping the four lanes course to three in that area. Blanchette was speeding down a hill when he approached a curve in the narrowed course. Blanchette slammed into a parked car.

"I hit the corner at about 40 miles per hour and launched me out of my chair, broke my collarbone, broke three ribs," Blanchette told NBC 7.

A jury awarded Blanchette $4 million this week. Before he went to court, Competitor Group Incorporated, the race organizers, offered him just $30,000 to settle.

“A jury of my peers validated what happened; and that was powerful," Blanchette said.

Blanchette is a former wheelchair Olympian whose competed all over the world. Sadly, because of his injuries, he will no longer be able to compete.

Blanchette  plans to use some of the money he was awarded for children at a wheelchair sports camp in Minnesota.

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