Mallory Weggemann Wins Gold After Setting New World Swimming Record at Tokyo Paralympics
Mallory Weggemann has earned Team USA another gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics!
On Friday, the 32-year-old Paralympian swimmer earned her first medal at the pandemic-delayed Games, winning gold in the women's 200m individual medley SM7.
Weggemann achieved a first-place finish in the race with a time of 2:55.28. Fellow Team USA member Ahalya Lettenberger was right behind her with a time of 3:02.82, earning her a silver medal.
With the victory, Weggemann earned her third Paralympic medal. The athlete previously took home gold at the 2012 London Games in the 50m freestyle and 4x100m medley.
Earlier in the morning, during preliminary races, Weggemann bested the time that she accomplished during the finals race with a time of 2:54.25, setting a new Paralympic record.
"I'm overjoyed. It is such an honor to be at my third Paralympic Games and to be on top of the podium for the first time in what would be nine years on September 2," Weggemann told reporters. "This has been a very long fight and there has been a lot of circumstances that have come around through this journey."
The star added, "I'm just filled with pride that I get to be with Team USA and I get to represent my family, my community and that I have that love and support to surround me."
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On Instagram, Weggemann's mother Ann celebrated her daughter's amazing accomplishment, sharing a carousel of photos.
"She did it! Amazing! Tears of pure joy seeing the flag raised, hearing the National anthem with the Gold medal hanging around Mallory's neck!" the proud parent wrote alongside the post. "It's been an incredible journey to the top of the podium yet one that is so well deserved! Get some rest dear and we'll be cheering again tomorrow! 👍💋🏊♀️♥️🇺🇸 Good Overcomes!"
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On her Instagram Story, Weggemann also celebrated her win with a series of posts. In one message, the athlete reflected on her record-breaking feat in the prelims, sharing an image from the race.
"So much emotion in the pool this morning - with each stroke I felt the strength of my community," she wrote.
In another post, Weggemann shared a past photo of herself in a hospital bed, writing beside the post: "That swim this morning was for her."
"Four years ago I laid in the hospital following my surgery and while competing felt further away than ever before each day I visualized the water and that love pulled me through," she wrote. "Never stop fighting for your dreams, no matter how distant they feel - surround yourself with your community show up to the fight and stay true to your 'why.' "
Weggemann also shared an aerial shot of herself swimming — writing "Just me in my favorite element while chasing some long awaited dreams" — as she added in another post after her win, "Absolutely no words right now other than this... DREAMS ARE RESILIENT."
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Paralympics air on NBC until September 5.