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Miles Krajewski of Yankton qualifies for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

Mark Reis
US Olympic and Paralympic Committee

Yankton’s Miles Krajewski has punched his ticket to Paris this summer. He officially accepted his invite this week to compete in the Paris 2024 Summer Paralympic Games for the sport of badminton. He’ll compete in both singles and mixed doubles.

“I’m pretty pumped. It still doesn’t feel like it’s happened. Just from all the emotions and rollercoaster of waiting to see if I found out or not, and now that I’ve found out that I’ve made the Paralympics, and it just feels amazing to accomplish what I’ve dreamed of,” exclaimed Krajewski. “After World Championships (February), one of my buddies texted me that I might be in, so that gave me some hope. We did the math and it looked like it would check out and we just had to wait and hopefully get the invite. The Badminton World Federation sent a letter to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee saying that I made it and that I needed to check the box to accept the invitation, which I did, so it’s now official that I’ve made it.”

Miles qualified in mixed doubles, which automatically will put him in the singles portion of the competition as well. His mixed doubles partner is Jayci Simon from Michigan, who he has known for a while, and has competed with since 2022.

“I think we both bring an energy to the court. We know how to work together and we listen to each other, which is good for on court, so hopefully that transitions to the Paralympics and we can bring home one of the three medals,” Krajewski said.

Miles was born with achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism. But this hasn’t restricted him one bit. As a senior at Yankton high school this year, he’s had a strong resume in life with sports. Throughout his youth he played basketball, hockey, did shot put, he golfs, plays tennis, and of course – has fallen in love with badminton.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting recently featured Miles Krajewski in their ‘Tales from the Hardwood’ series this winter as Miles was also a student manager for the Bucks boys basketball team.

The sport of badminton has already sent him on quite the international tour, which includes stops in Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, just to name a few. Now, he’ll also be able to check Paris, France off the list.

“It’s a world renowned city and country to be going to Paris, France,” Krajewski mentioned. “It’s a big accomplishment, especially knowing that I fulfilled my goal and get to go do what I love.”

This past fall, Miles finished tied for 33rd in AA boys golf at the state tournament. He’s also a stand out tennis player for the Yankton boys squad. This season he’s currently 7-0 on the season in tennis for singles flight 5.

Even with the Paralympics on the horizon for this summer, he still plans to finish his high school tennis career this spring.

“I have tennis meets two times a week, so I don’t know when I’ll start [heavy badminton] training, but as soon as school gets out, I’ll be training full-time,” he said. “I’ll be training for quite a while. Then I have a tournament in June in Scotland, and that’ll be the last tournament before the Paralympics. July is really the big month of training since it’s one month out from the Paralympics.”

Competing in the Paralympics has been a dream of Miles for a long time, and now he’s fulfilled that dream of getting represent the United States on the world’s most prestigious stage.

“It means a lot, just through all the hard wood and dedication that I’ve put in. Along with the hard work and dedication that my family and friends have put in to helping me on this road to make it to the Paralympics,” Krajewski explained. “Now that I’ve made it, I’m hoping to bring back some hardware.”

The 2024 Paris Paralympic Games will take place on August 28th through September 8th.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.