Jessica Long, from Super Bowl ad to beat Phelps

Michael Phelps is legend. His 28 medals (23 gold, three silver and two bronze) elevated him to the Olympus of the sport and he has become the yardstick for many ever since. If time is measured with the ‘before and after Christ’, swimming could well employ the ‘before and after Phelps’. The retired American is the most successful Olympian. Nevertheless, her compatriot Jessica Long (Irkutsk, February 29, 1992) has surpassed her records at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. He arrived at this appointment with 23 metals and thanks to the one harvested this Friday in the 100 S8 butterfly – the sixth in Japanese lands – surpasses Phelps, reaching 29 (16 gold, 8 silver and 5 bronze).

The 29-year-old American swimmer thought about retiring at Rio 2016, but ultimately went on to make history. His reached all corners of the world thanks to an advertisement for Toyota – the sponsoring brand of these Games – broadcast in the latest edition of the Superbowl. He was born in the Russian city of Irkutsk with the name of Tatiana and a peroneal hemimelia. A congenital bone deficiency that made her parents, a teenage couple, freaked out and decided to put her up for adoption. Thus, at thirteen months, he began a new life in Baltimore, where he finally had to have both legs amputated. Jessica tried all kinds of sports (gymnastics, ice skating, climbing …) until she became a great champion in the pool. In 2014 he met his biological parents (Oleg and Natalia Valtyshev), a moment collected in the documentary ‘Long way home’. He also came to train with the same Michael Phelps whom he already surpasses …

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