Paralympic trials to be in Minneapolis

Paralympic trials to be in Minneapolis

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced that Minneapolis will host next year’s team trials. The trials determine what athletes will be on Team USA at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. One of the swimmers hoping to punch her ticket to Japan during the trials is Mallory Weggemann from Eagan. In 2008, however, Weggemann feared her days in the pool were over. She went in for an epidural to alleviate back pain, but the procedure left her paralyzed from the waist down instead. “When you’re injured, they don’t serve up life on a silver platter saying, ‘here’s everything you’ll be able to do someday,'” Weggemann said. “It’s very gloom. Rightfully so.” A few months later, Minneapolis hosted the U.S. Trials for the 2008 Paralympic Games. Her family insisted Weggemann come with them to watch the swimming events at the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Center. “I always joke the only thing that got me to this pool … was my very loving, very pushy, very supportive family that essentially didn’t give me a choice,” said Weggemann. The athletes Weggemann met that day she credits with changing her outlook on life. Within 48 hours, she was back in the water learning adaptive swimming. “Being able to have that shift in perspective and be challenged to see it that way so early on following my own injury in so many ways saved me,” Weggemann said. The rest, as they say, is history. Weggemann went on to win gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Now, nearly 12 years following her paralysis, she holds 15 world titles. “You don’t have to live your life focusing on your disability,” Weggemann said. “You can truly choose to change your perspective and your ability and what you’re capable of doing.” Weggemann will compete in next year’s team trials with the advantage of it being held here in her home state. She hopes to make Team USA and ultimately another gold medal. But Weggemann also hopes the athletes competing will serve as motivation and an inspiration for others just as they did for her in 2008. (Source: KSTP TV)