With the Paralympic Games a month away, Men’s Health Magazine recently released their Top-5 Paralympians to Watch from Team USA.
1. Jessica Long, Swimming
20-year-old Jessica Long has been breaking American records for eight years and is arguably the fastest swimmer on the US squad. Born without fibulas, Long is a double below-the-knee amputee who will compete in seven individual events next month in London.
Words of Wisdom: “For me, it’s knowing that pain is temporary. I won’t be sore in 20 years, but that gold medal will last forever.”
2. Jerome Singleton, Track & Field
In London, Singleton will not only be competing for medals, but for the title of “fastest amputee in the world” when he takes on South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius in the 100m. Born without a fibula in one leg, Singleton runs on a prosthetic and is eyeing gold medal results in each of his events.
Words of Wisdom: “When I got into the Paralympics, they said it would be hard. I said, ‘it doesn’t matter if it’s hard. Is it possible?’ If it’s hard, you already gave up. But if it’s possible, you can do anything with hard work.”
3. LT. Brad Snyder, Swimming
In 2011, Snyder was hit by a bomb in Afghanistan while trying to save to wounded comrades. He was immediately blinded and forced into months of rehab before regaining normalcy in his live. Through it all, Snyder found peace in the pool explaining, “When I was re-learning how to do everything, I didn’t have to re-learn how to swim.” A former collegiate swimmer for the Naval Academy, Snyder will now compete for the US in the 400m and 100m freestyle.
Words of Wisdom: “I have less specific goals – it’s more that I want to do things that lead to self-improvement. When I take a day off from the pool, I know I missed an opportunity to move forward.”
4. Katie Holloway, Sitting Volleyball
Holloway, a 6’3” Washington native, has been a top athlete for her entire life despite competing with a prosthetic right leg. After earning a scholarship to play basketball for Cal State Northbridge, she found a new love in sitting volleyball and will lead the No. 2 world-ranked USA team on their gold medal mission next month.
Words of Wisdom: “My passion is to help people with physical disabilities become active through sports. It drives me to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be the best volleyball player.”
5. Casey Tibbs, Track & Field
Two-time Olympic gold-medal champion (in Athens and Beijing) Tibbs will have all eyes on him in London next month during the long jump competition. Tibbs competes on a prosthetic after having lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident. Going into this summer’s Games, Tibbs is aiming for a 23’ jump and a third gold medal.
Words of Wisdom: “I know how good it feels to be on the podium. Knowing all of your work pays off.”
For more information on Team USA, visit: www.teamusa.org