|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
The Life-Lifter: The World's Smallest Swimming Champ
So says Jessica Rogers, the 18 inch tall, 14-year-old swimmer who hopes to take home the 2012 Paralympic gold. And I for one believe her. This girl is amazing. First of all, will you look at her arm muscles? She is buff. Jessica was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, which means she has no lower spine and extremely small legs. Jessica also engages in a grueling training schedule, waking up at 3:30 every morning before school to prepare for the Paralympics, according to the Daily Mail. As she told the Mail, "When I'm swimming, I feel free."
Her mother, who adopted her when she was a baby, calls Jessica, "a typical teenager," and told the Mail that she's "incredibly determined. But she sees herself as the same as everyone else." And she is. Except that she's a much, much better swimmer. And she doesn't seem to spend any time feeling sorry for herself: "I don't think I'm special—I was born like this and just get on with life. Everyone is different in their own way." We have to disagree: Jessica seems pretty special to us.
Learn more about Jessica's charity for other kids born with Caudal Regression Syndrome and see an amazing video of her swimming, at the Huffington Post.
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.