Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Immigrant of the Day: Jessica Long (Russia), Star Paralympic Swimmer

 

 

The Super Bowl is in the books.  Our Immigrant of the Day, Jessica Long, starred in one of the more memorable Super Bowl commercials.  Her moving story is described by NBC Sports:

"Jessica Long, the swimmer in a 2021 Toyota Super Bowl commercial that lasted 60 seconds, took a 7,000-mile path to becoming the second-most decorated U.S. Paralympian in history.

Long, chronicled in the film `Long Way Home: The Jessica Long Story' available on Peacock, was born in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, which means she didn’t have fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in her feet.

She was adopted by Americans from a Russian orphanage at 13 months old and raised in Baltimore. At 18 months old, her legs were amputated below the knees. She has had more than a dozen surgeries.

Long began swimming in her grandparents’ pool after church on Sundays, pretending she was a mermaid. By age 10, she swam competitively. At 12, she made her Paralympic debut at the 2004 Athens Games, earning three gold medals.

Long competed in the next three Paralympics, running her medal total to 23. For a time, she was in the same training group as Michael Phelps under coach Bob Bowman. She is expected to swim in a fifth Paralympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Only fellow swimmer Trischa Zorn owns more Paralympic medals among Americans — an overall record 55."

KJ

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2021/02/immigrant-of-the-day-jessica-long-russia-star-paralympic-swimmer.html

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