The surprising story of Paralympic world champion Jessica Long

On warm summer days, many people like to go out for a bike ride or a jog through their neighborhood. From an early age, kids are taught how to ride a bike and jogging is a great form of exercise that is the after-work sport of choice for many young adults. These things may seem like mundane and simple outdoor activities, but that is not the case for a paraplegic.

A paraplegic is someone who is missing or does not have use of their legs and the lower portion of their body, often times as the result of paralysis or amputation. Jessica Long is one such person, but she does not let her condition hold her back or bring her down. To her, being a double amputee is not a disability, it is a strength.

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From being a skilled gymnast and adept basketball player, Jessica naturally excels at sports, even without some of her lower extremities. Her one true love, though, is swimming. She’s been swimming for as long as she can remember and knows that it’s what she’s meant to do.

After moving from a hobby to a competitive sport, Jessica moved up in the world of athletics pretty quickly. By the time she was 12, this talented athlete was heading to the Paralympics. She may have been the youngest one on Team USA, but she walked away with three gold medals.

This coffee-loving 26 year old may be a total superstar when it comes to swimming, but she really is just like every other girl. From romances and friendships to yoga and spending time with her family, Jessica tries to lead a normal life, when she isn’t living it up at the Paralympics, that is.


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Aside from her career, Jess has also become an inspiration to people with disabilities all over the world, and is a role model for young people who may be struggling with a similar condition. Parents have sent pictures to her of their kids with their prothstetic legs saying that they are her biggest fan. She has also advocated against hatred toward those living with a handicap by promoting kindness and awareness rather than ignorance. Jessica uses her social media accounts to show the world that she may not have legs, but she sure doesn’t miss them. This helps others like her understand that they can still achieve greatness and shouldn’t fear away from it.

Long may be from Baltimore, but she was actually born far away and moved there when she was just over a year old. A few years ago, she decided to find out exactly where she came from and learn more about her background. This adventure ended up being extremely fulfilling for her and an experience she will never forget.

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