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Paralympic Athlete From Md. Speaks At Hopkins

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Perhaps the best Paralympian ever is from Baltimore. Jessica Long has earned multiple gold medals and world records.

As Mike Schuh reports, she brought her message to doctors at Johns Hopkins Tuesday.

Jessica Long is more comfortable in the water than out. At 12, she swam at the Paralympics in Athens, at 16 she was in Beijing and next year, at 20, she's in line to swim in London.

Long is a world record holder, a gold medalist and one of the best athletes in the world without having legs below the knee.

"I was missing the fibulas and tibia of my leg," said Long.

Her story is an inspiration, and besides training, she often gives speeches.

"When I started breaking world records I realized I kinda have a cool story I can share with people," said Long.

Tuesday she shared some of her prosthetics for a unique audience to see-- an audience of resident doctors at Hopkins embarking on a career of rehab.

Long was invited to the hospital by the chief resident.

"But I think Jessica has a special message for all of us-- no matter your situation you can make the best of it," said Dr. Eric Brand, chief Hopkins resident.

No matter her audience, her message remains the same.

"They're fun. I enjoy talking to people, hopefully inspiring people, motivating anyone with or without a disability to get up, be active and enjoy life," said Long.

Long expects to be entered in seven swimming events in the Paralympics in London in 2012.

For eight years, Long trained at a health club in Towson. She now lives and trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado.

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