5 Paralympians You Need To Watch Out For At The Rio 2016 Paralympics

Mallory Weggemann, we've got our eyes on you

5 Paralympians You Need To Watch Out For At The Rio 2016 Paralympics

by Alyss Bowen |
Published on

If you’re sat there wondering what the hell to do with your time now the Olympics is done and dusted (congrats, Team GB) don’t you worry guys. The Rio Paralympics is about to start and there’s a whole host of incredible, inspiring athletes you need on your radar. Things will be kicking off officially on the 7th, but if you want to swot up in the meantime on who to follow, look no further.

Jessica Long

swim

Jessica is the swimmer you need to watch out for from team USA. She competed in both the Beijing and London games so to say this girl is a pro is massive understatement. 24-year-old Jessica was born with fibular hemimelia, a rare condition that left her with no bones in her lower legs – but she hasn’t let that stop her become one of the most celebrated paralympic swimmers of all time. She only (ok…not only) has to win gold this year to be remembered as the most decorated Paralympic swimmer of all time. No pressure.

Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden was born in a Russian orphanage with spina bifida, which means she has a hole in her spine and is paralysed from the waist down. She had literally nothing, and had to learn to walk with her hands. After being adopted by American Deborah McFadden in 1994 she started to take an interest in sports and athletics. Fast-forward 10 years and she made her Paralympic debut in Athens, where she took home two medals. She’s now won four London Marathons, and is set to take Rio by storm for team USA, competing in every single wheelchair event. Minds.Blown.

Sophie Hahn

Sophie Hahn was so inspired by the 2012 Summer Paralympics she decided to get into athletics herself. She's got cerebral palsy, a condition that affects your movement and co-ordination. She’s now gone on to win countless medals and smash her personal bests, and she now holds the world record for the 100 T38. We’ll be watching out for her.

Hollie Arnold

21-year-old Hollie Arnold has got her eyes well and truly on that javelin gold after retaining her F46 javelin title at the IPC Athletics World. Championships in Doha. She currently lives and trains in Cardiff, and recently set a new person best of 40.52 meters. She’s already competed in the Beijing and London Paralympics and holds the Senior World Record for javelin and Junior World Record for discuss and shotput, so we’re expecting big things.

Mallory Weggemann

Team USA’s Mallory Weggemann, I mean where do we start? She became paraplegic after an epidural injection to treat post-shingles back pain in 2008, but she didn’t let that stop her swimming career. Having been a competitive swimmer since the age of 7, it took her only three months after her injury to return to the pool, and just six months later she broke her first world records at the 2009 Can Am Speedo Para Swim Meets. And now she’s got two Paralympic medals under her belt, one gold and one bronze. I think we’ve said enough, right?

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Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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