On January 21, 2008, Mallory Weggemann received an epidural injection to help treat back pain. But an error in the medical procedure left the 18-year-old paralyzed from the waist down.
Mallory, who had been a swimmer since the age of seven, thought her competition days were over. Just a few months later, she attended the Paralympic Swimming Trials held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The following Monday, she returned to the pool.
In July 2009, little more than a year later, Weggemann began to break world records: the 50m freestyle, the 400m freestyle, and the 100m butterfly. She holds 34 American records and 15 world records, and is currently ranked number one in the world in six of the seven Paralympic swimming events.
Mallory is on leave from the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism until after the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
"As time's gone on, I realize I can still do it all," she says. "I may do it a little differently, but I can still do it."
Mallory is blogging for MEDAL QUEST in April. Her personal website is http://www.malloryweggemann.com and she tweets @malloryweggeman