The 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are in their second week, and remarkable WSB exclusive Mallory Weggemann has returned for her second Games, hoping to repeat her record-setting gold medal 50-meter freestyle performance in London’s 2012 Paralympics.
Mallory’s journey began in 2008, when she went in to receive an epidural injection to help treat chronic back pain. Instead of alleviating her symptoms, the injection left her a paraplegic. Following her paralysis, Mallory’s astonishing determination helped her to achieve the incredible: she got into the pool and built a swimming career, setting 15 world records and 33 American records within four years. She would go on to win gold and bronze at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Hear from Mallory about her Road to Rio on The WSB Podcast:
After recovering from a devastating and nearly career-ending arm injury in 2014, Mallory is competing in multiple swimming events Rio. She makes her return to the 50-meter freestyle later this week, with her eye on more gold. ESPN chronicled Mallory’s Road to Rio, where she described fighting her way back from her debilitating injury:
“When I had my paralysis, the way I fought back was, I got in the pool and I swam. Swimming is a spiritual thing for me. It’s not just being a competitive swimmer. It’s my place. It’s my sanctuary. That has been the place that gave me the strength to go and conquer everything else. After my arm injury, I felt like it was taken from me. I thought I had to retire, and that was terrifying.”
Mallory shares her story—a story she insists is still unfolding—with genuine enthusiasm and refreshing honesty. Her journey did not begin or end with the day she was paralyzed. That was merely one event among many in her life that has shaped but not defined her. The same, she insists, is true for any one of us.
Hear Mallory discuss how everything happens for a reason, and contact WSB today to invite her to speak to your audience.
WSB is honored to work with numerous inspirational athletes like Mallory–in fact, WSB exclusive speaker and Paralympic skiing medalist Bonnie St. John also traveled to Rio as a part of President Obama’s delegation in support of the U.S. Paralympians.