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The U.S. Paralympics Swimming Insider For July 30, 2021

By Todd Kortemeier | July 30, 2021, 2:40 p.m. (ET)

Sophia Herzog competes at U.S. Paralympics Team Trials – Swimming in June. (Photo: Joe Kusumoto)

 

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

Sophia Herzog announced that due to COVID protocols she would be moving into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center to finish out her training ahead of the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. But her hometown of Salida, Colorado, had a special surprise for her to show their support.

Even though I may not be home right now finishing out my final preparations,” Herzog wrote,they are my village who gave me the confidence and catapulted me to where I am today!

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Lawrence Sapp had the special honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Southern Maryland Blue Crabs game. The independent league club is based out of Waldorf, Maryland, Sapp’s hometown. Sapp’s post also showed him meeting the players and signing autographs for fans.

Sapp wasn’t the only U.S. swimmer taking in America’s pastime recently, as Cailin Currie was down on the field at Boston’s Fenway Park for Disability Awareness Night. Currie is a native of Danvers, Massachusetts, in the Boston metro area.

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Mallory Weggemann delivered a message as a special guest for the 20th anniversary of the Miracle of Mobility live virtual event put on by Free Wheelchair Mission, an organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for people in need around the world. The nonprofit has donated nearly 1.3 million wheelchairs to people in 94 countries since it was established in 2001. That’s an average of 178 donated wheelchairs per day.

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Meditation has helped Jessica Long get in the right frame of mind before going after Paralympic gold medals, and now fans can join her and get a gold medal of their own.

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Makayla Nietzel took some time to educate fans about albinism, and how it has affected her. 

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Jessica Long had her appearance in a Super Bowl commercial, now Morgan Stickney has a commercial of her own. She appeared in an ad for Mass General Brigham, a health care provider in Massachusetts.

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Everyone knows Jamal Hill knows his way around a pool, turns out he’s pretty handy in the outdoors too as demonstrated here.

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July 24 marked just one month to go until Tokyo.

In the News

All swimmers like Jessica Long will have to worry about in Tokyo is their times, and won’t have to worry about artistic pursuits like the Japanese art of origami. Long tried her hand at the ancient practice alongside some other Paralympians and Olympians recently.

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NBC Sports took a look at 100 ways that women can make history at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Long, McKenzie Coanand Anastasia Pagonis were three of the athletes listed. Long was mentioned for her continuing climb up the all-time medal table,Coan for being a medal favorite yet again after winning four medals in Rio and Pagonis for the potential she showed in a record-breaking U.S. Paralympic Team Trials. … Speaking of Coan, her upcoming book was featured by “Swimming World” magazine. “Breaking Free – Shattering Expectations and Thriving with Ambition in Pursuit of Gold,” will be released on Aug. 11 just ahead of the Paralympic Games. 

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Long and Anastasia Pagonis were the two swimmers featured in a “Meet Team USA” preview from “Sports Illustrated” … In more local publications, numerous U.S. swimmers were featured as they prepare for Tokyo, including Joey PeppersackLawrence Sapp (twice), Summer SchmitLizzi SmithMallory Weggemann and more.

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The structure of how Para swimming and track and field could look radically different over the next few years. Currently managed by World Para Sports under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee, swimming and track and field could be spun off and independently managed. Bidding for the two largest Para sports under the IOC umbrella, consisting of an expected 1,100 athletes in Tokyo, is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022. “Cities, national governments, sport organizations and other entities” are expected to be among the bidders.

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 EditorialInc.