20137-Joseph Peppersack photo

Joseph Peppersack



Impairment information

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

Further personal information

Partner Rachel McVicker
Richmond, VA, USA
Higher education
Business Administration, Economics - University of Mary Washington: Fredericksburg, VA, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up swimming in 2008 in Hopewell, VA, United States of America. He took up Para swimming in 2011 at his local YMCA club.
Why this sport?
He took up swimming to keep fit and to give him an activity that he can do without his prosthetic leg. "It feels great to swim because I can actually go faster than I can out of water. Also, to learn and for fitness. I might be frustrated one moment, but the next I'm in the pool doing what I love to do. Being in the water is freedom because I'm not bound to anything. I don't have to wear this [prosthetic]. I can move faster than I do on land."
Name of coach
Justin Anderson

General interest

Joe Bags (Athlete, 29 Aug 2021)
Playing electric guitar. (Athlete, 29 Aug 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a silver medal at the 2019 Parapan Games in Lima, Peru. (Athlete, 29 Aug 2021)
Most influential person in career
Coach Lauren Waterworth. (Athlete, 29 Aug 2021)
Hero / Idol
US Para swimmer Robert Griswold, US swimmer Michael Phelps. (Athlete, 29 Aug 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Happiness brings quality. Quality brings excellence." (Athlete, 29 Aug 2021)
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 03 Jul 2021)
He was born without a right tibia [shinbone], due to tibial hemimelia [a condition where a child's shinbone is shorter than normal or missing]. At age four his right leg was amputated above the knee. In daily life he wears a prosthetic leg, but does not wear it when swimming. “[The amputation] shaped pretty much everything in my life. Waking up in the morning to brush your teeth having one leg makes it harder to see the mirror. Cooking is harder. I didn't go to school. I was home-schooled. I was in and out of the hospital so much, but I learned to adapt.” (Athlete, 07 Jan 2016;, 09 Oct 2013;, 31 Oct 2018;, 17 Sep 2019;, 03 Jul 2021;, 03 Jul 2021)
Other information
While studying at University of Mary Washington [UMW] in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he was coached by US Para swimming teammate Zack Shattuck for two years. The pair were already friends from a swim meet they had met at several years before they both landed at UMW. Their coach and pupil relationship ended in May 2021 when Peppersack graduated from UMW. “It's nice to have somebody there who understands what it's like to be a swimmer who has a disability, especially someone who understands how competitive it is.” (, 17 Jul 2021;, 03 Jul 2021)