Twenty-nine-year-old bilateral amputee swimmer, Jessica Long, just won her 25th medal in her Paralympic career during the 200m medley in Tokyo, Japan.
Long is the most decorated athlete in the competition and as the 2020 Paralympics come to a close, her gold medal count comes to a whopping 14.
With an impressive finishing time of 2:41.49, she destroyed the competition in the individual 200m medley. Unsurprisingly, she couldn’t be happier.
“I’m over the moon. I’m just so happy. To have a four-peat in the 200 IM, that’s what I’ve been dreaming of coming into these Games,” the swimmer stated in a press release after her big win, according to People. “I’m really proud of myself.”
Jessica Long’s training for the Paralympics has paid off.
The decorated athlete enlightened the world on what training for the Games looked like, which was very demanding. “I moved out to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center [in Colorado Springs] about a year ago. I made that very big sacrifice to be away from my family and my husband just to have this type of performance,” she explained. Long finished her statement with the sentiment, “I think it’s paid off.”
“To be able to train at altitude, swim long course and to be around an amazing group of people, I’m just really thankful,” Long included in her statement.
In an interview with USA Today, the Paralympic recalled her difficult journey to the Games. “This was my number one goal to four-peat in this, and it’s really hard to do especially as you get older,” she stated. Continuing her interview, she offered the information, “I got a chance to call my dad before the medal ceremony, and he was expressing how proud he was of me. It’s not easy, but it was definitely worth all the sacrifices.”
“As a 12-year-old when I won my first gold in Athens, I wanted people to know what the Paralympic Games were. Each year the excitement and the build-up for the Paralympics Games has grown more and more,” Long recalled her early days as an advancing athlete.
“I love swimming. I want to see what I could continue to do in the sport,” she included. She added the information, “Swimming has given me so much, so many opportunities.”
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