July 26, 2013
Welcome to the third edition of the Friday Feature – “Story of a HERO” showcasing Mallory Weggemann and Make A Hero.
The following is a biography according to Mallory’s website:
“On January 21, 2008, Mallory Weggemann received an epidural injection to help treat back pain; however by the time it was finished she was forever changed. Complications with the procedure left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down.
Weggemann has been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven. After her injury at the age of 18, Weggemann chose to return to the pool. In April 2008, her older sister found an article in the local newspaper discussing the Paralympic Swimming Trials. The meet was being held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Still coping with her new disability, Weggemann found one thing unchanged, her love for swimming.
While attending the meet as a spectator with her sister, she met several of the US National Team coaches as well as her current coach, Jim Anderson. The following Monday, Weggemann returned to the pool and has been swimming since. She touts her Paralympic trials experience as life changing. “I have always loved the sport but when this happened I thought my days of swimming were over and when I realized I could still do it, well I will never forget that moment.”
Weggemann broke her first set of world records at the Can Am Speedo Para Swim Meet held in Edmonton, Alberta Canada in July 2009. Weggemann set world records in the 50m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 100m butterfly.
At the 2009 Short Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November 2009, Weggemann broke six more world records (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 20 point 4x50m freestyle relay) and took home five gold medals.
In August 2010 at the Long Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Weggemann proved herself again in the pool by taking home eight gold medals (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m freestyle relay, 400m medley relay) and one silver (100m backstroke). Weggemann finished the meet with nine World Records. The IPC wrote the following regarding Weggemann’s performance. “USA’s Mallory Weggemann (S7) was the most successful athlete of these World Championships, winning eight gold medals and breaking nine world records“.
Mallory showcased her amazing abilities by winning gold and setting a Paralympic Record in the 50m freestyle. Mallory also anchored the bronze medal winning 4x100m medley relay team, bringing USA back from fifth place to almost capturing gold! It has been deemed one of the most memorable moments of the London Games, and it inspired many across the world.”
On Thursday, July 25th, Mallory wrote the following blog post …
“Today’s post is a flash back. A flash back to nearly four years ago as I experienced myself slowly losing the ability to remember what it felt like to stand and walk.
This journal was written a year and a half after my paralysis, at a time when it started to hit me that those memories were … continue reading here.”
Make A Hero would like to thank Mallory for her support and for paving the way for other individuals, whether Paralympic hopefuls like Joshua Myers, or recreational participants like Joe Tancredi, to regain their freedom and mobility.
How has Mallory inspired you?
Thank you for commenting!
*** Please help us spread the word about Mallory Weggemann, the Make A Hero Cast, and everyday heroes, by sharing this post through the social media buttons on this page, learning how you can Make A Hero, subscribing to The HERO Newsletter, and / or giving a generous monetary donation. Thank you! ***