The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is thrilled to announce that five-time Paralympian Jessica Long will be delivering the keynote presentation at this year's World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC), taking place October 13-15 in Houston, Texas. Long has won 23 Paralympic medals in swimming, 13 of them gold.
Born to a teenage mother in the Siberia cold, burdened by congenital defects in her legs and placed for adoption at 13 months old, Long was able to persevere to become one of the most decorated female athletes in U.S. history. However, it was not without setbacks. At just 18 months old, Long’s legs were amputated below the knee due to a rare bone disorder called fibular hemimelia, but her adopted family would not let her physical differences limit her potential.
At just 12 years old, Long competed in the 2004 Athens Games and won three gold medals. She competed again in Beijing, London and Rio and continued to win medals at each. Long also swam for Team USA in Tokyo this summer.
“Long’s inspirational story should resonate with everyone in the aquatics industry,” says Sabeena Hickman, CAE, president and CEO of PHTA. “What swimming has done for her — and what she has done for swimming — highlights the importance of our industry and encourages us to strive to make aquatic facilities safe and healthy spaces for all users.”
Long’s keynote presentation will take place Thursday, October 14 at 8:30 a.m.
To learn more and register for WAHC, click here.