Social Media Roundup
“AHH RACE DAY! Oh how I’ve missed you!”
Those words from Becca Meyers perfectly encapsulate the excitement she and others felt on Nov. 14 when they got the chance to dive back into a competitive pool at the Toyota U.S. Open. Typically for able-bodied swimmers, several Paralympians like Meyers took part as well to get in some solid work in a year that has seen most events get canceled.
Paralympic medalist Lizzi Smith also swam, noting it was her first competitive meet in nine months.
“I swam faster than I did at my last meet in February,” Smith wrote. “More than anything though I had a lot of pride being a Paralympian swimming at the U.S. Open.”
November was a special month overall for Meyers, who celebrated her 26th birthday on Nov. 20. Her post featured the three Bs: Becca, her dog Birdie and balloons.
Speaking of big months, three-time Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan had a pretty big November as well. First, she announced on Nov. 13 that she had signed a deal with CG Sports Publishing to tell her story in print.
“I truly cannot wait to share it all, from the incredible highs and challenges I've faced to honoring and recognizing those who have been there every step of the way,” she said.
Then on Nov. 22, Coan was able to celebrate getting into law school. Like any legal scholar should, the celebration involved a “Legally Blonde” marathon.
Paralympic hopeful Jamal Hill and his journey were featured by World Para Swimming on Nov. 19. Hill is not only a world-class swimmer, he also founded Swim Up Hill which helps provide low cost swim lessons among other community initiatives.
For #TBT (Throwback Thursday), World Para Swimming took a look back at what Para swimming used to look like, at the Paralympic Games of 1964. While not the sport’s Paralympic debut, which occurred four years earlier, the 1964 Games were much more competitive. The 1960 Games featured only three swimmers per event, meaning every athlete was guaranteed a podium finish. Team USA was the big winner in the 1964 medal table, taking home 22 gold medals and 54 medals in all.
In the News
Paralympic medalist Sophia Herzog was announced as one of 52 travel & training grant recipients from the Women’s Sports Foundation on Nov. 19. Fifteen individual athletes and each athlete on the rosters of two complete teams received the $75,000 grant, tailored to support athletes in need of financial assistance to fund their careers with expenses like coaching, travel, equipment and more. Herzog was one of nine grant recipients currently training for next summer’s postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
After her appointment as chef de mission for the Refugee Paralympic Team at next year’s Olympic Games, Paralympian Ileana Rodriguez was profiled by FIU News, the communications outlet of Florida International University. Rodriguez studied architecture at FIU, doing so as a full-time student while also training for the 2012 Paralympic Games. Rodriguez now runs her own design consulting firm based out of Houston.
Acknowledging the importance of college athletics as a pipeline to Olympic and Paralympic sports, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced the formation of the USOPC College Sports Sustainability Think Tank to continue to foster those opportunities.
“Our country’s unique college system is critical not just to the health of our Olympic and Paralympic teams, but to the longstanding vitality of sports across our country,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland.
Athletes, executives, and others from the world of Olympic and Paralympic sports will serve on groups focused on three areas: partnerships, sport economics and regulations. The think tank will first convene in late November and will formally present its first recommendations to the USOPC Collegiate Advisory Council in the first quarter of 2021