Charlotte, North Carolina — Just before swimming for the first time at the U.S. Championships, Mallory Wegman I put my hand on her belly. She felt her child kicking. She scanned her center in Mecklenburg County Aquatics and met her husband and her parents.
Weggemann has since achieved what she has done so many times in a career that spanned three Paralympic Games, including five medals (three gold). she raced.
This time she did so at 26 weeks pregnant.
“I share one of the things I love most in this world with our children,” she said. “Also, when I get on those blocks and jump off with my wheelchair by my side, I understand that it is something much bigger than the baby or me. In terms of what can be done, frankly, it helps change perceptions of what is possible.”
Weggemann, 33, who is expecting her first child in March, clocked the 50m butterfly in 41.54 seconds in the morning heat and 40.01 seconds in Friday’s final.
At the Tokyo Paralympics, Weggemann won silver in the 50m fly in 34.30 seconds (alongside two other gold medals), but Friday’s time didn’t really matter.
“I knew more than racing what racing meant and what that meant,” Weggemann said after the morning swim. Just show what you can do.”
Weggemann and her husband, Jay Snyder, detailed the course of male factor infertility and in vitro fertilization. This included Weggemann’s medical withdrawal from the World Championships this June.
“Two egg retrievals, microTESE surgery, hormonal therapy for suspected endometriosis, failed transplant, mock transplant cycle, surgical hysteroscopy, 440 injections (and counting),” she told her social media followers. “It took science, the best care team, and a lot of love. And here is our little miracle!”
Weggemann is back from maternity and will compete in her fourth Paralympics in 2024 in Paris. This will be her latest return.
She swam in her first Paralympics and won her first gold medal.Four years later, she had an epidural injection to treat herpes zoster, which left her unable to move from the waist down. did.
In 2014, Weggemann called her a horrific fall on the shower floor when a bench collapsed from under her in an accessible hotel room in New York City. I lost my grip strength and about 75% of the function of my left arm. She considered her retirement while being kicked out of the pool for months. However, she returned to swimming in her second Paralympics in 2016.
In 2017, she underwent a six-hour surgery to remove two upper chest muscles and ribs. That December, she tore another muscle off her left side. At one point, Snyder found her sleeping in a cot next to her hospital bed for two weeks. She spent 18 months between her swims. She is back for the Tokyo Olympics. There she was, she won her highest number of medals ever. She has 2 gold and 1 silver.
What did you leave behind in your fourth Paralympics?
“Get a gold medal as a mother,” she said. She “thinks about sitting on her podium with her husband and small child.”
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