- Focused on raising the awareness of disabled swimming
- Paralympic Champion & raising awareness for disability swimming
- Paralyzed from the waist down
- Paralympic Gold Medalist
- Everything happens for a Reason: The day in which she became paralyzed
- You’re the Best, you can make a Difference, and you can Change the World
- An inspirational story of perseverance, overcoming obstacles
Mallory Weggemann received an epidural injection to help treat back pain; however by the time it was finished she was forever changed. Complications with the procedure left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down.
“Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.”
Weggemann has been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven. After her injury at the age of 18, Weggemann chose to return to the pool.
Her older sister found an article in the local newspaper discussing the Paralympic Swimming Trials.
Still coping with her new disability, Weggemann found one thing unchanged, her love for swimming.
Weggemann returned to the pool and has been swimming since.
“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.”
Weggemann broke her first set of world records at the Can Am Speedo Para Swim Meet held in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Weggemann set world records in the 50m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 100m butterfly.
At the Short Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Weggemann broke six more world records (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 20 point 4x50m freestyle relay) and took home five gold medals.
At the Long Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Weggemann proved herself again in the pool by taking home eight gold medals (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m freestyle relay, 400m medley relay) and one silver (100m backstroke).
Weggemann finished the meet with nine World Records. The IPC wrote the following regarding Weggemann’s performance. “USA’s Mallory Weggemann (S7) was the most successful athlete of these World Championships, winning eight gold medals and breaking nine world records“.
Mallory showcased her amazing abilities by winning gold and setting a Paralympic Record in the 50m freestyle.
Mallory also anchored the bronze medal winning 4x100m medley relay team, bringing USA back from fifth place to almost capturing gold! It has been deemed one of the most memorable moments of the London Games, and it inspired many across the world.
Current member of the US Paralympics National Team
Paralympic Gold Medalist – 50m freestyle
Paralympic Record Holder – 50m freestyle
Paralympic Bronze Medalist – 4x100m relay
ESPN ESPY winner – Best Female Athlete with a Disability
Pan Pac Championships in Edmonton, Canada – Nine gold medals
USA Swimming Disabled Swimmer of the Year (Trischa L. Zorn Award)
IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands – Eight gold medals and one silver medal
Swimming World Magazine Female Disabled Swimmer of the Year
IPC Swimming World Championships 25m in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Five gold medals
USA Swimming Central Zone Athlete Representative
USA Swimming Disability Committee
USA Swimming Athlete Executive Committee
Currently holds 34 American Records
Currently holds 15 World Records
Short Course World Records
“Mallory discusses the day in which she became paralyzed, her initial struggles to cope, and how she soon realized she now had a platform to instill change by helping others and raising awareness for swimmers with disabilities.
Mallory shares a touching story of how she changed the life of a young girl who is also paralyzed — an opportunity which allowed her to fully understand why “everything happens for a reason.”
“Mallory lifted the entire room; I was completely blown away. We sometimes overuse words like “inspirational” or “awesome” or “courageous” and they lose their true meaning—not in this case; Mallory is all those and more.
She reminded us what a person can do in the face adversity, and showed us we have the capacity to overcome obstacles, large or small, if we choose to and if we work at it.
She’s inspired me to want to do better—that’s real leadership”