Paralympic swimmer Mallory Weggemann competes 26 weeks pregnant

When Mallory Weggeman competed at the US Paralympic Swimming Championships, she attended with her little one.

CHARLOTTE, NC — Mallory Weggeman is a “mom on a mission” to show what’s possible.

The three-time Paralympic gold medalist competed at the National Paralympic Swimming Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend at 26 weeks pregnant.

“It’s very special to be here. I’ve been with the national team for the better part of the last 13 years, but now I’m at this stage of my career, playing 3 Paralympic games and 6 and a half months pregnant. I’m racing.” Being with our first child is more than I could have dreamed of at 20, when she made her first national team.

Weggemann came in second in the 50m fly and reached the final in the 50m free and 200m fly. But Weggemann said that was not the end result.

“It just showed what is possible as a woman and as a woman with a disability. It was more important than ever for me to swim,” Weggemann said. “It will only point the way for other individuals and hopefully inspire our next generation to understand that as women we are not either or both. There are choices and you can continue your career. What you choose and how you do it.”

Weggemann became paralyzed from the waist down in 2008 after receiving regular epidural injections in his back to treat shingles. Since then, she has gone on to win her five Paralympic medals, three of which are gold.

“There is still a great deal of stigma that exists during pregnancy for women, and a great deal of stigma on the path of women with disabilities on their journey to parenthood. rice field.

Weggemann and husband Jay Snyder have also opened up about their journey to conceiving via IVF because of male factor infertility.

“There was a lot of shame and loneliness, and we wanted to voice it. My husband was really focused on that journey and was really brave.” Being a woman, more specifically a disabled woman who brought a wheelchair, we naturally assume that we have experienced infertility.

Weggemann said she was already receiving encouraging messages after competing at the national championships at 26 weeks pregnant. The daughter of a convention official who uses her wheelchair told her parents after seeing Weggemann’s photo that she didn’t know someone in a wheelchair could have a baby. .

Weggemann’s final race of the weekend set a new world record in the gold-medal-winning 200-meter individual medley at the 2020 Summer Paralympics. She hopes to defend her title at her 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris.

She added, “Fast forward a year and a half or so and I hope everything is going well. I met my husband holding our baby in a stand in Paris, I showed him a picture and I was like they I was able to race with them when I was pregnant.”

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