At 12-years-old, double-amputee Jessica Long, from Baltimore, competed in the 2004 Paralympic games and came home with three gold medals. Since then, the champion swimmer has proved unstoppable, winning numerous international awards.
Jessica, born with fibular hemimelia in Siberia, was adopted from a Russian orphanage by Steve and Beth Long at 13-months-old, along with a little boy. Her legs were amputated at 18-months-old to fit her with prosthetics. The Longs provided her with a large family of siblings (five) and she learned to swim in her grandparent’s pool.
She has 17 Paralympic medals, three Paralympic records and 20 World Records. Jessica was named by Sports Illustrated as one of “The World’s Best Female Athletes” in 2006 and 2011.
Her favorite quote by Christopher Robin is “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”