The Girl Who Figured It Out by Minda Dentler

Minda Dentler | May 2, 2024

An Inspiring True Story of Wheelchair Athlete Minda Dentler Becoming an Ironman World Champion

Our 2017 New Voices Fellow, Minda Dentler, published a children’s book about her journey from orphan to Ironman triathlete. In these pages, you’ll find the lessons of taking action, hard work, perseverance, and the power of a “figure it out” mindset – all applicable to both work and life! 



The uplifting true story of Minda Dentler, the first female wheelchair athlete to complete the Ironman World Championship triathlon.

Minda Dentler made history when she became the first female wheelchair athlete to complete the world’s toughest triathlon, using only her arms to finish a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile marathon. But the journey there wasn’t easy. Minda was paralyzed as an infant in India after contracting polio, and was left in the care of an orphanage. After she was adopted by an American family and moved to Washington, she underwent surgeries to enable her to walk with leg braces and crutches.

As she grew, she faced many challenges, but remained undeterred by her disability. Her decision to begin training and competing in triathlons was no different. Despite the obstacles and failures she experienced along the way, Minda’s persistence and determination in the face of setbacks helped her to make sports history and inspire people around the world to rethink what’s possible!