Mallory Weggemann: Paralympic swimmer’s inspirational story

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption London 2012 Paralympics were Weggemann’s first major competition

In Beijing in 2008, young, fit marathon swimmer Mallory Weggemann trained only three or four times a week and was sleeping late in order to make the U-17 national team, before flooding and mudslides in Thailand in 2010 left her seriously injured.

“I had a stroke in the flooded house and just went into a three-day coma,” she said.

“My parents and brother had to break the flood waters with bricks to get to me. I lost some fingers and the rest of my toes and right leg.”

Since then, Weggemann has learnt to swim again and become a three-time Paralympic medallist.

Her life’s work involves helping disadvantaged kids with prosthetic limbs to swim.

The London 2012 Paralympics was her first major competition. “There was this phrase that I heard – ‘Look at the determination. Look at the determination’,” she said.

“Something like that is what it took to get me out there and I knew I had to be good and to push myself.

“I’m always hearing ‘I didn’t think I was good enough’. Well you know what, here’s an example.”

Now Mallory has shared her inspirational story in a new book, Swim Team Babes, to raise awareness about handicapped children’s swimming.

“Swimming – and I can go back as far as the Pre Classic when I was six – that’s what saved my life,” she said.

“So I just want to tell kids that if they’re interested in swimming, let’s talk about that so we have some kind of empathy for what other people might be going through.”

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