Jessica Long: Swimming
Jessica Long (@jessicatatianalong on Instagram) competed in the Paralympics in 2004 in Athens, 2008 in Beijing, 2012 in London, and 2016 in Rio. She's a 23-time medalist with 13 gold, six silver, and four bronze medals and is the second most decorated Paralympian in US history (NBD).
Long was born with fibular hemimelia, which means she didn't have fibulas, ankles, heels, and most of the other bones in her feet. When she was 18 months old, she had to have her legs amputated below the knees so she could be fitted for prosthetic legs in order to learn how to walk. She joined her first competitive swim team at age 10 and by age 12 was already competing in the Paralympics in Athens. According to her Team USA bio, her interests include Pilates, reading, interior design, finding new coffee shops, and spending time with family.
Personal motto: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work."