On Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, American Paralympic swimmer Mallory Weggemann made headlines when she lead delegates in the Pledge of Allegiance. Weggemann got the call to attend the convention after plans for her to lead the Pledge were set up by the Washington Speakers Bureau. At the convention, she had the opportunity to speak with politicians and discuss disability rights.
In January of 2008, at 18 years old, what was supposed to be a routine epidural injection for Weggemann had life-changing results, as she became paralyzed from the waist down. Months later, she started her journey towards making Paralympic history.
Now an accomplished Paralympic swimmer, Weggemann has set 34 American Records and 15 World Records in her career so far. At the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, she won her first medals with a gold in the 50 free and a bronze in the 4×100 meter 34 point medley relay. Her winning time in the 50 free was also a new Paralympic Record.
Weggemann will join the Team USA squad for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games this summer, where she will compete in 7 events spanning all 4 strokes, and have the chance to defend her Paralympic title in the 50.