Originally from Siberia, Jessica Long was adopted at 13 months old from a Russian orphanage and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland with her parents, Steve and Beth, and five siblings. Long was born with fibular hemimelia and did not have fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in her feet. At 18 months old, her legs were amputated below the knees so she could be fitted for prosthetic legs and learn how to walk.
Long learned how to swim in her grandparents’ pool where she spent hours pretending she was a mermaid. She joined her first competitive swim team at 10 years old with her first international competition being the Paralympic Games Athens 2004 where she was the youngest athlete on the U.S. Paralympic Swim Team at 12 years old. Since then, Long has gone on to join Rudy Garcia-Tolson and Cody Bureau as the only members of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team to compete in four Paralympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016).
Throughout her career, Long has several accolades to her name including the winner of the 77th Amateur Athletic Union James E. Sullivan Award, three-time ESPY winner for “Best Female Athlete with a Disability” (2007, 2012, 2013) and named to Sports Illustrated’s “The World’s Best Female Athletes.”
When not training or competing, Long enjoys Pilates, reading, interior design, finding new coffee shops, and spending time with family.
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Currently Resides: Baltimore, Md.
Birthdate: February 29, 1992
Toyota Vehicle: Toyota 4Runner
Paralympic History: 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016
- Second-most decorated U.S. Paralympian in history
- Paralympic GamesAthens 2004, gold (400m free, 100m free, 34 pt. 4x100m free)
- Paralympic Games Beijing 2008, gold (400m free, 100m free, 100m fly, 200m IM), silver (100m back), bronze (100m breast)
- Paralympic Games London 2012, gold (400m free, 100m free, 100m breast, 100m fly, 200m IM), silver (100m back, 34 pt. 4x100m free), bronze (34 pt. 4x100m medley)
- Paralympic Games Rio 2016, gold (200 IM), silver (400m free, 100m breast, 4×100 34 pt. free relay), bronze (100m fly, 100m back)
Email Sign Up
Enter your email address below to sign up for email alerts.
All materials on this site are for editorial use only. The use of these materials for advertising, marketing or any other commercial purpose is prohibited. They may be cropped but not otherwise modified. To download these materials, you must agree to abide by these terms.I agree to the terms