Jessica Long is one of America's most decorated Paralympic champions - and her life has been nothing short of amazing.
Born to a teenage mother in Siberia, burdened by congenital defects in her legs, and placed for adoption at 13 months old, Jessica was able to persevere to become one of the most decorated female athletes in U.S. history. However, it was not without setbacks.
At 18 months old, Jessica's legs were amputated below the knee due to a rare bone disorder. But, that didn't deter her adopted family. They would not let her physical differences limit her potential. So, with an unrelenting determination and an unending belief in herself, she has been able to reach the pinnacle of her sport and maintain her position amongst the best in the world for over a decade!
Now, as one of America's most decorated champions, she focuses on winning in the water and inspiring others outside of it.
Jessica competed in the Tokyo Paralympics this summer where she won 6 medals, 3 of them gold. She has won a total of 27 medals across her 5 Paralympic appearances.
Jessica was featured on PHTA's Step Into Swim Podcast this summer, where she discusses the impact she's had on the world as the face of Paralympic swimming. She talks about her countless successes while also delving into the struggles she experienced on her way to the top. Listen to the episode here: