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Sport Swimming
NPC United States   
Born26 Mar 1989 in Eagan, MN, USA
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
S8, SB7, SM8
Further Personal Information
Saint Paul, MN, USA
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Higher education
Marketing, Public Relations - University of Minnesota: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age seven.
Why this sport?
In April 2008 one of her sisters took her to the University of Minnesota to watch the US team trials for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. She was inspired to get back into swimming by the athletes she saw there.
Club / Team
Rip Tide Swim Team: United States
Name of coach
Mike Parratto
General Interest
She was ill at the end of 2010 and early 2011. (CNN, 12 Aug 2011)
Awards and honours
In 2011 she won the ESPY [an award given out by ESPN each year] for Best Female Athlete with a Disability. (CNN, 12 Aug 2011)

She was the 2009 USA Swimming Disabled Athlete of the Year. (, 12 Nov 2009)
To win gold medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 01 Nov 2013)
In January 2008 she received a series of epidural injections in her back to treat shingles. After the third she lost movement from the waist down. Doctors initially thought she would be able to regain control of her legs, but she could not. (, 12 Nov 2009)
Other information
Days before she was due to compete in nine events in the S7 category at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, she was reclassified in the S8 category which limited her to seven events. She protested, saying her complete paraplegia should keep her from competing against bi-lateral below the knee double amputees that have full function from the knee up. However, the reclassification was upheld and she won gold in the 50m freestyle. (, 01 Nov 2013;, 05 Sep 2012;, 30 Aug 2012)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
6 2012 100m Breaststroke SB7 1:43.62
1 2012 50m Freestyle S8 31.13
7 2012 100m Backstroke S8 1:23.36
6 2012 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:58.44
4 2012 100m Freestyle S8 1:08.51
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2010 400m Freestyle S7 5:04.87
1 2010 100m Breaststroke SB6 1:35.51
1 2010 50m Freestyle S7 31.64
2 2010 100m Backstroke S7 1:23.39
1 2010 200m Individual Medley SM7 2:48.43
1 2010 100m Freestyle S7 1:08.45
1 2010 50m Butterfly S7 34.85
1 2010 4x100m Medley Relay 34 Points 5:00.68
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Event Result
1 2009 100m Freestyle S7 1:08.56
1 2009 400m Freestyle S7 5:08.53
1 2009 50m Butterfly S7 35.17
1 2009 50m Freestyle S7 32.17
1 2009 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 20 Points 3:50.55