Imagen
Jessica Long of the United States compete in the on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium

Jessica Long

Swimming
29
8
4

Jessica Long continued her Paralympic winning run at Rio 2016, sealing one gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Despite her relatively young age, she is one of the world’s most decorated swimmers with 23 Paralympic medals, including 13 gold, and 30 world medals consisting of 24 gold.

Four years ago, she was named the 2011-12 Paralympic Sports Woman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee, after winning eight medals at London 2012.

Aged 12, making her the youngest member of the US Paralympics team, she made her international debut at the Athens 2004 Games and won three gold medals.

In 2006, the S8 Para swimmer broke 18 world records, including five at the 2006 IPC World Swimming Championships, where she also picked up nine gold medals. In the same year she was named U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympian of the Year and also Disabled Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine.

After winning four Paralympic golds at Beijing 2008 and six world titles at the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships, Long added to her medal collection at the 2013 IPC Swimmming World Championships with three golds, one silver and a bronze. In 2015 she bagged a further four titles.

Long was adopted from a Russian orphanage at 13 months old. In 2013 she returned to Russia where she met her biological parents ahead of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games where she presented NBC's coverage of the Games.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S8, SB7, SM8

Further personal information

Family
Husband Lucas Winters
Other names
Tatiana Olegovna Kirillova
Residence
Baltimore, MD, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Public Speaker
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming in her grandparents' pool and joined her first competitive team at age 10.
Why this sport?
She was originally keen on gymnastics, but due to the damage it was doing to her knees and prosthetic legs, her parents encouraged her to take up swimming instead. "I'd always loved to swim and it just felt right. My grandmother found a clipping in a local newspaper about a local swim team and we just decided to try it out. The thing that sold me was that I didn't have to wear prosthetics."
Name of coach
Nathan Manley [personal]
Training Regime
She trains at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, United States of America. She has nine sessions across six days a week.

General interest

Nicknames
Aquawoman (paralympic.org, 12 Jul 2015)
Hobbies
Yoga, reading, pilates, interior design, spending time with family. (Twitter profile, 11 Apr 2018; teamusa.org, 06 Sep 2021)
Most influential person in career
Her family. (romesentinel.com, 19 Feb 2020)
Hero / Idol
Canadian singer Celine Dion, her younger sister Hannah. "I'm the older sister. I always say that she should be, I hope, looking up to me, but I have found my entire life that I'm looking up to her." (publiclibrariesonline.org, 12 July 2018; forbes.com, 24 Aug 2021)
Injuries
She struggled with shoulder problems in the lead-up to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 01 Dec 2017)

In April 2011 she had an illness called costochondritis that affected her blood flow and made her tired. (usaswimming.org, 04 Oct 2011)

She had a burst appendix in early 2008. (Baltimore Sun, 13 Apr 2008)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I'm so thankful I'm able to do what I do. Swimming, it's the best job. I don't have anything to prove, just that it's possible. I know I'm enough with or without the gold medals. I just love to swim." (si.com, 23 Aug 2021)
Awards and honours
She received the 2015 Trischa L. Zorn Award, given by USA Swimming for the outstanding performance of the year by a Para swimmer. (usaswimming.org, 03 Oct 2015)

She was named Best Female Athlete with an Impairment at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly [ESPY] Awards in the United States of America in 2007, 2012 and 2013. (swimswam.com, 18 Jul 2013; teamusa.org, 12 Jul 2012)

She was named the 2011/12 Paralympic Sportswoman of the Year by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee [USOPC]. (teamusa.org, 17 Sep 2012)

In 2008 she received the Juan Antonio Samaranch International Olympic Committee [IOC] President's Para Athlete Award. (paralympic.org, 14 May 2008)

In 2007 she became the first Para athlete to win the Amateur Athletic Union's Sullivan Award, which is given to the best amateur athlete in the United States of America. (US Paralympics, 04 Mar 2010)

She was named the 2006 Paralympian of the Year by USOPC. (paralympic.org, 14 May 2008)
Other sports
She finished second in speed climbing [rock climbing] at the 2006 Extremity Games in Orlando, FL, United States of America. (US Paralympics, 04 Mar 2010)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2024 and 2028 Paralympic Games. (teamusa.org, 01 Jan 2018; onherturf.nbcsports.com, 24 Feb 2021)
Impairment
She was born without fibula bones, ankles or heels. Her legs were amputated below the knee at 18 months old. (pressroom.toyota.com, 29 Jan 2020; caymancompass.com, 17 Jun 2019)
Other information
PARALYMPIC RECOGNITION
She believes the decision by the United States Olympic Committee to change its name to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee in June 2019 will improve perception and participation levels in Para sport. "When I was on the Beijing [2008 Paralympic Games] team with my friends, we were like, 'Do you think we will ever get to that point? Do you think people will ever recognise Paralympics?' For it to be in the name, it's a huge, huge step. I am positive there are athletes out there that are very new to the Paralympic movement, and hearing the name change is going to bring in more athletes. And honestly it really is all about the next generation." (nytimes.com, 29 Jun 2019)

TAKING A BREAK
After the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, she took some time away from competition to coach an all-girls school swim team in Baltimore, MD, United States of America. "Seeing their work ethic and how excited they were to train in a sport I'm so passionate about was incredible. I took a step back from the sport while still being a part of the sport, and it really helped me fall in love with swimming again and confirm that I still wanted to be a part of this." (teamusa.org, 28 Mar 2018; si.com, 23 Aug 2021)

MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE
After competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she reached out to US swimmer Allison Schmitt for advice as she was struggling with her mental health. She was affected by shoulder injuries in the lead-up to the Games in 2016 and says the disruption to her training also led to her developing an eating disorder. "I look back at pictures, and I just look sick. In my mind, it was the thing that was going to make me fast. I had no control over my life. I feel like Rio 2016 was my worst performance, and really my burnout. It was my low point, and I remember reaching out to her [Schmitt], and I said, 'I'm just not getting better'. In the Olympics you sometimes hear about the 'post-Olympic blues' which supposedly comes afterwards, but ends at six months. For me it was still the same at seven and eight months on, and I don't even like the word 'depressed' but I was so sad. For swimming, we don't really have an offseason, and after Rio I realised that I had been swimming consistently almost every single day since I was 10 years old. I decided I needed to step back and take a break, and come back after that. But reaching out to Schmitty, who is a gold medallist and super tight with Michael [Phelps], hearing from her was really special. Even though I've won a lot of medals and performed well, from a mental health aspect, you have to realise your worth outside of swimming." (forbes.com, 24 Aug 2021; si.com, 23 Aug 2021)

EARLY DAYS
Born in Siberia, Russian Federation, she was adopted by US couple Beth and Steve Long from an orphanage at 13 months old. In 2013 she travelled to Tem, Russian Federation, where she met with her biological parents. "I really dreamed of this moment. My parents in the US always told me that I was adopted. It's never been a secret to me." (dreamon.world, 19 Mar 2018; dailymail.co.uk, 16 Dec 2013; siberiantimes.com, 07 Dec 2013)

BOOK AND FILM
A photographic memoir about her life was published in June 2018. She co-wrote the book, called 'Unsinkable', with her sister Hannah. Four years earlier in 2014 a film, 'Long Way Home: The Jessica Long Story' was released during the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. In the film she returns to Siberia, Russian Federation, to visit various people and sites including her adoption centre. In February 2021 her life story featured in a 60-second television advert that was aired in the United States of America during the NFL Super Bowl. "It's such an emotional spot [advert], i

Results

Unit Date Rank
IPC Swimming World Championships Eindhoven 2010 (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 2 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 2 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final Round 2
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Heat 2 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 1
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final Round 1
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Heat 1 3
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 1
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Heat 2 2
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final Round 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heat 1 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final Round 1
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final Round 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heat 2 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final Round 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 2 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final Round 3
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Heat 2 2
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 3 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 6
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 1
IPC Swimming World Championships Durban 2006 (Durban, South Africa)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heats 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34 pts Final Round 1
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Final Round 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final Round 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heats 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heats 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heats 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heats 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Heats 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heats 1
Athens 2004 Paralympic Games (Athens, Greece)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34 pts Final Round 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 5
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 3
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Heat 2 2012-08-30 2
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final Round 2012-08-30 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2012-08-31 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2012-08-31 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final Round 2012-09-01 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 2 2012-09-01 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2012-09-02 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2012-09-02 5
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 2012-09-03 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 1 2012-09-04 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final Round 2012-09-04 2
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heat 2 2012-09-05 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final Round 2012-09-05 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 3 2012-09-06 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2012-09-06 1
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final Round 2012-09-07 3
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heat 2 2013-08-13 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final 1 2013-08-13 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2013-08-14 1
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2013-08-15 3
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final 1 2013-08-16 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2013-08-17 2
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2013-08-18 9999
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final 1 2015-07-13 1
Women's 50 m Butterfly S8 Intermediate Time 2015-07-13 9999
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 2 2015-07-14 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final 1 2015-07-14 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final 1 2015-07-15 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heat 1 2015-07-15 1
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2015-07-17 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2015-07-17 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final 1 2015-07-18 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 1 2015-07-18 1
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2015-07-19 4
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2015-07-19 7
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2015-07-19 4
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2016-09-08 2
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2016-09-08 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final Round 2016-09-09 3
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Heat 1 2016-09-09 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 1 2016-09-10 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final Round 2016-09-10 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2016-09-11 4
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2016-09-11 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 1 2016-09-13 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final Round 2016-09-13 3
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 2016-09-15 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2016-09-16 5
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heat 2 2016-09-17 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final Round 2016-09-17 1
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final 1 2017-12-03 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2017-12-03 1
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2017-12-03 1
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2017-12-05 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final 1 2017-12-05 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2017-12-06 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final 1 2017-12-06 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final 1 2017-12-07 1