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Sport Para swimming
NPC United States   
Place of BirthEagan, MN, USA
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
S8, SB7, SM8
Further Personal Information
Fiance Jeremy Snyder
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Athlete, Journalist, 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.
Name of coach
Steve Van Dyne [personal], from 2014
Senior International Debut
Competing for
United States
Rio de Janeiro, BRA
General Interest
Travelling, scuba diving, spending time with friends, being outdoors. (, 2013)
She suffered an arm injury in March 2014, which stopped her from competing at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Pasadena, CA, United States of America. She returned to training in 2015. (, 29 Jul 2014;, 18 Dec 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Each day, we have the ability to be brave, to be courageous, to rise above and to continue to redefine our limitations. Where I believe bravery steps in, is when we decide that regardless of what our disability may be, we are not going to let it stop us from living, from aspiring to achieve our goals and from continuing to push ourselves one step further. In fact, that is the most courageous act of bravery there is, not allowing circumstance to define us and not allowing fear to hold us back." (, 05 Nov 2014)
Awards and honours
In 2011 she won the ESPY award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability from sports broadcaster ESPN. (CNN, 12 Aug 2011)

She was named the Disabled Athlete of the Year of 2009, 2010 and 2011 by USA Swimming. (, 2013)

She was named the Female Disabled Swimmer of the Year of 2009 and 2010 by Swimming World Magazine. (, 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 did not. (, 12 Nov 2009)
Other information
She was a part of's broadcast team during the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Pasadena, CA, United States of America. She interviewed athletes and coaches, and presented recaps of the competition. In 2014 she also had articles published by US newspaper, The Huffington Post. (, 29 Jul 2014;, 18 Nov 2014)

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 managed to win 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
3 2012 4 x 100m Medley Relay 34 Points 4:54.13
Heats 2016 400m Freestyle S8 5:36.21
5 2016 100m Breaststroke SB7 1:36.06 
7 2016 100m Butterfly S8 1:17.41
8 2016 100m Freestyle S8 1:11.80
9 2016 100m Backstroke S8 1:23.08 
11 2016 50m Freestyle S8 33.09 
5 2016 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:48.95 
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2010 400m Freestyle S7 5:04.87
1 2010 100m Breaststroke SB6 1:35.51
1 2010 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 34 Points 4:23.59
1 2010 50m Freestyle S7 31.64
4 2010 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 20 Points 3:30.87
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
9 2010 4 x 50m Medley Relay 20 Points 3:53.57
1 2010 50m Butterfly S7 34.85
1 2010 4 x 100m 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