Paralympic swimming takes a lot of endurance, experience and strength so when a 12 year old girl brought home 3 gold medals from the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece, the world took notice of her. Jessica Long, now 24, has been capturing gold and breaking world records ever since.
Born in Russia, Jessica was born with fibular hemimelia; she didn’t have fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in her feet. She was given to an orphanage by her birth parents and at 13 months old, Beth and Steve Long from Maryland, adopted her. At 18 months old, her legs were amputated below the knees so she could be fitted for prosthetic legs and learn how to walk. She was up walking 2 weeks post surgery.