2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist Mallory Weggemann had her life changed on January 21, 2008. A routine epidural to help treat back pain left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down. However, having been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven, she found one thing unchanged – her love for swimming. On April 8, 2008, Mallory returned to the pool, and has been breaking national and world records ever since. However, just days before the 2012 Paralympics, a controversial decision to move Mallory up a class left her competing against swimmers with full use of their legs. Nonetheless, she defied the odds and won Gold in the 50m freestyle, which became one of the signature races during the Games.
She currently holds 15 World records and 33 American records. She was the 2011 ESPN ESPY winner as the Best Female Athlete with a Disability. She was also named the USA Disabled Swimmer of the Year in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Mallory is an articulate speaker and in the Fall of 2013 will be addressing the UN General Assembly in a program they have titled, “Only The Brave”.
Several of the topics about which she likes to talk are:
• Everything Happens for a Reason
• You’re the Best, You Can Make a Difference, and You Can Change the World