Headshot of Chris Fleace

Chris Fleace

Bio: It may be Chris Fleace’s first year on the USAWR roster, but this talented athlete is ready to make a big impact on the international stage. Fleace, a 34-year-old Army veteran, started playing wheelchair rugby in 2016 for the renowned University of Arizona Wildcats. Feeling the call to once again represent his country, he made the decision to try out for USAWR, making his first national team in 2023. Since joining the squad, Fleace has focused on absorbing as much knowledge as possible from Head Coach Joe Delagrave and his experienced teammates. While he says his greatest accomplishment in wheelchair rugby so far is earning 0.5 Best in Class honors at the 2022 U.S. Wheelchair Rugby Association (USWRA) Nationals, Fleace feels like the sky is the limit for himself and this USAWR roster. Growing up in Youngstown, OH, Fleace joined the Army right out of high school before getting injured at the age of 21. He says his family, including his pit bull Split, have been a great support system in his wheelchair rugby career. When he’s not traveling or competing, you can find Fleace in the gym or on the court preparing for his next competition. He does, however, make time for his interests outside of wheelchair rugby, which include mentoring newly injured individuals in his community and managing what he refers to as the “quad house” where he lives with other quadriplegics, including two of his USAWR teammates.