Swimming quickly became my safe haven. It was my sanctuary, and it gave me a renewed zest for life that I had been searching for since I had been paralyzed.
– Mallory Weggemann
It's Not the Moment That Defines Us...
Mallory Weggemann has been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven. On January 21, 2008, she went to the hospital to receive her third and final epidural injection that she was receiving to help treat back pain caused by postherpetic neuralgia. The epidural injections that were supposed to help with the debilitating pain instead left Mallory a paraplegic with complete loss of movement from her abdomen down.
Just three months after her injury at the age of 18, Weggemann chose to return to the pool. In April 2008, her older sister found an article in the local newspaper discussing the Paralympic Swimming Trials at the University of Minnesota. Through the encouragement of her family, Mallory attended the meet as a spectator with her sister and met several of the US National Team coaches, as well as her former coach, Jim Andersen. Still coping with her new disability, Weggemann found one thing unchanged, her love for swimming.
...It's How We Respond to That Moment
Mallory touts her Paralympic trials experience as a game changer, saying, “I have always loved the sport but when this happened I thought my days of swimming were over and when I realized I could still do it, well I will never forget that moment.” The following Monday, Weggemann returned to the pool and has been swimming ever since.
Less than sixteen months later, Mallory broke her first set of world records at the 2009 Can Am Speedo Para Swim Meet. Now, she holds 34 American Records, 15 World Records, and two Paralympic Medals – one gold, the other bronze. Weggemann’s Gold Medal race has been deemed one of the most memorable moments of the 2012 London Games, inspiring audiences around the world. Mallory currently has set her sights on the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and eagerly prepares by training and competing in other international events.
- Current member of the US Paralympics National Team
- Currently holds 34 American Records
- Currently holds 15 World Records
- 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist – 50m Freestyle
- 2012 Paralympic Record Holder – 50m Freestyle
- 2012 Paralympic Bronze Medalist – 4x100m 34 Point Medley Relay
- 2011 ESPN ESPY winner – Best Female Athlete with a Disability
- 2011 Pan Pac Championships in Edmonton, Canada – Nine gold medals
- 2009, 2010 and 2011 USA Swimming Disabled Swimmer of the Year (Trischa L. Zorn Award)
- 2010 IPC Swimming Long Course World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands – Eight gold medals and one silver medal
- 2009 and 2010 Swimming World Magazine Female Disabled Swimmer of the Year
- 2009 IPC Swimming Short Course World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Five gold medals
Support Mallory as She Trains for Rio 2016
Support Mallory as she trains and prepares for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.