Mikey Brannigan, a 19-year-old who is perhaps the most well-known male U.S. Paralympic runner, delivered on that scrutiny by winning the T20 1500m gold in Rio on Tuesday morning.
Brannigan, who was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old and has been profiled by major media outlets in the last few years, easily won in 3:51.73, by 4.44 seconds, at the Rio Games.
Last month, Brannigan broke four minutes in the mile for the first time, ranking him No. 16 among Americans in the non-Olympic distance this year (and second among U.S. teens), according to the IAAF. Last year, he won the T20 1500m world title.
Brannigan’s mom previously said his dream was to attend and compete for a top college program, but NCAA academic and educational requirements made it difficult. He is now a professional runner with future Olympic aspirations.
MORE: Rio Paralympics broadcast scheduleFollow @nzaccardi