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The U.S. Paralympics Swimming Insider For January 12, 2021

By Todd Kortemeier | Jan. 12, 2021, 11:40 a.m. (ET)

Mikaela Jenkins competes at the 2019 Indianapolis World Series. 

Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para swimming. Here’s what you missed!

Social Media Roundup

Countless Americans gathered around the Christmas tree this holiday season, and the athletes of Team USA were no different. There was Tye Dutcher, sharing a special moment. There was Martha Ruether and her dog Brooke — complete with Brooke rocking a Buffalo Bills Santa hat, no doubt wishing for a Super Bowl trophy under the tree. Becca Meyers also had her Christmas pooch with her under the tree. So too did Ross Minor.

Mallory Weggemann received an extra special gift under her tree, advanced copies of her upcoming book, “Limitless.”

“For the first time I was able to hold the very pages that carry my heart in my hands,” Weggemann wrote.


Mikaela Jenkins announced she will be continuing her athletic and academic career at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. The Wolverines compete in Division III.




World Para Swimming featured Jessica Long on its Instagram account, sharing a TikTok she had created showing how she puts on her two prosthetic legs. It’s a pretty simple process for someone so used to it like Long, in fact she says hoisting herself into a chair is the hardest part. 



How prosthetics fit might be one common question among fans when it comes to Para swimming, but what about novices to the sport itself? World Para Swimming has you covered with this handy explainer about how the sport began and how it works. 


Many people bid anything but a fond farewell to a year that has been filled with so many challenges and tragedies. Mallory Weggemann summed up the changing fo the year with some words of perspective.

“We all ended 2020 differently, but it is my greatest hope that this year, in 2021 we can all have these moments — a split second where time stands still and we see the light of a new day,” she wrote. “For me that moment came as my husband pulled me through the snow in a sled and as I looked to him and saw that smile I was reminded how grateful I am for moments like that, when despite all the adversity surrounding us and our world we are fortunate enough to have each other.

“Hold onto to the light and always tell those you love how you feel. Happy New Year — may this year bring you and yours comfort, peace, health and love.”

In the News

Unprecedented times continue to produce unprecedented events, such as a World Series taking place in the same year as a Paralympic Games for the first time ever. World Para Swimming announced a provisional calendar on Dec. 18 that includes five confirmed stops and one to be announced later this month. The season opener is scheduled for Sheffield, England, April 8-11, then the series moves to the U.S. to Indianapolis, Indiana, for the fourth time. Due to pandemic-related cancellations, only two World Series events took place in 2020.


Those two World Series events were one of the memorable moments featured in a look back at 2020 from the International Paralympic Committee. The season opener in Melbourne, Australia, took place in February, and Team USA’s Anastasia Pagonis took home two gold medals.


U.S. national teamer Gia Pergolini was featured on the website of Swimming World, talking about the unofficial world record she set at a U.S. Open meet, her challenges in finding a spot to train during the pandemic, her goals for Tokyo and more.


The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Paralympic swimming. Those are past and future headline acts at La Defense Arena, where the Paralympic swimming competition was officially moved to for the Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Rather than build a new arena, setting up a temporary pool in the existing La Defense Arena will save money, and come with a side benefit. As one of the largest indoor venues in Europe, the arena will be able to host huge crowds.

Todd Kortemeier

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to USParaSwimming.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.