A Jeffersonville native is going for gold — again.
Andre Shelby is representing Team USA in the Paralympics, which began Tuesday in Tokyo. The Jacksonville, Fla. resident begins competing for the United States archery team today.
Shelby, who will participate in the men’s compound division, won gold at the 2016 Rio Games, becoming the first Black Paralympic archery champion.
Shelby is a 1985 graduate of Jeffersonville High School. He played basketball and football for the Red Devils, earning All-Hoosier Hills Conference honors as a lineman his senior year.
Shelby joined the Navy after graduation. He served his country for 18 years before his life changed forever in 2004, when he was paralyzed from the chest down as the result of a motorcycle accident.
During his recovery, Shelby was introduced to adaptive sports at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tampa, Fla. He eventually got involved with the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Then, in 2008, a demonstration by a Para archer at the Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville piqued Shelby’s interest. Shortly thereafter he took up the sport. It wasn’t long before he was competing at a high level.
Shelby made his international debut with Team USA at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. The next year he took the third, and final, spot on the U.S. Paralympic Team that competed in Rio.
In Brazil, Shelby was 12th in the ranking round before rolling through the individual matches. In the final, against Italian Alberto Simonelli, Shelby scored a 10 on his final arrow to win gold just a couple of months before his 50th birthday.
Following the year-long postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shelby is making his return to the Paralympics. He’s one of a record number 4,403 athletes, including 10 from Indiana, who’ll compete in Japan. The Paralympics conclude Sept. 6.
The other Paralympians from Indiana are Elizabeth Smith (swimming), Evan Austin (swimming), Mikaela Jenkins (swimming), Jeff Butler (wheelchair rugby), Noah Malone (track & field), Sam Grewe (track & field), Thomas Davis (para-cycling), Tyler Merren (goalball) and Zachary Buhler (goalball).