Mountain Ridge alumna Allysa Seely named a Fiesta Bowl Parade grand marshal


Mountain Ridge alumna Allysa Seely is one of five Arizona female athletes named as a grand marshal of the Fiesta Bowl Parade Saturday, Dec. 28. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and travels through central Phoenix.

Ms. Seely, a 2007 Mountain Ridge graduate, is a three-time world champion who made history by winning a gold medal in paratriathlon’s debut in the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

“The community here in Arizona has been very supportive of me in my athletic career and encouraging all along the way so it’s awesome to be able to be recognized in my home state at such a big event,” Ms. Seely said. “Women in sports is such an important focus for so many reasons. As an athlete at the elite level right now my most important role is to be somebody for young girls to look up to and I take that very seriously.”

She’ll be joined in the parade by another former Glendale high school athlete, U.S. Women’s Soccer star Jessica McDonald, a Cactus High 2006 graduate, and another DVUSD alumna athlete, Special Olympics golfer Amy Bockerstette, who graduated from Sandra Day O’Connor last year.

Other Arizona female athlete grand marshals are Mercury start Diana Taurasi and McDonald’s teammate on the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, Julie Ertz. Ms. Ertz graduated from Dobson High School in Mesa in 2010.

Ms. Seely was a member of the Arizona State University collegiate club triathlon team and a nationally ranked triathlete before her diagnosis. In 2010, Seely was diagnosed with Chiari II Malformation, basilar invagination, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affect her brain, spine, and connective tissues. After her first surgery, she was back to competing seven weeks later at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships with ASU. She made her debut as an elite paratriathlete in 2012, earning bronze at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships that year. Then in 2013, Ms. Seely had her left leg amputated below the knee due to complications and increased spasticity in her foot.

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, she made history by winning a gold medal in paratriathlon’s debut as a Paralympic medal event. That same year, she was a featured athlete in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue.

She has been dominant in the women’s PTS2 division since Rio, earning silver at the 2017 world championships and winning her third career world title in 2018. She was undefeated in the 2018 ITU World Paratriathlon Series, and is undefeated to date in the 2019 series.

In July of this year, Ms. Seely won an ESPY for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.

The Fiesta Bowl Parade will feature various brilliantly colored floats, giant balloons, equestrian units, charitable groups, local celebrities and marching bands that will make their way down the two-mile route through Central Phoenix. Admission is free to the public with premium and reserved seating available for $30.