Morgan Stickney won big in Tokyo. She’s already looking toward her next dream. – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-09-17 07:01:48 –

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“Things can knock us down, but we’re stronger than that and can stand up again at any time.”

Morgan Stickney won the gold medal at the women’s 400-meter freestyle S8 medal award ceremony held in Tokyo on August 31, 2021. Rin Tao Chan / Getty Images

The reality of the last few weeks hasn’t completely sunk yet Morgan Stickney..

She is now Twice gold medalist..

When she was ranked in the top 20 of the country by miles, it’s a dream she first set her goal at the age of 14. Despite the interference of the difficult medical challenges that ultimately resulted in amputation of the leg below the knee, it is a dream that she has nurtured and retained for the next decade.that is The dream she pushed forward When I heard that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, which was expected to be overlooked, for one year.

She was still re-learning how to walk and swim in early 2020 and recovered from her second amputation in two years, but decided she was ready for Tokyo to grab her dream.

And she did.

A 24-year-old swimmer from Bedford, New Hampshire, won a gold medal in the 400-meter Freestyle S8 last month, overtaking his teammates. Jessica Long, 23 Paralympic medalists, final stage of the race. She then fixed the stunning legs of a 4×100 medley relay, helping Team USA win the gold.

Now that she’s back in the United States, Stickney is already heading for her next dream as her feelings of achievement continue to calm and sink.

She told that she was nervous about racing with Long, but decided to race herself and not focus on her rivals. She was also excited — she knew it was faster than the last official time she posted for the event.

“I was working really hard, and my actual time just showed that I would be much faster,” Stickney said.

But at the first 200 meters of the event, she noticed she wasn’t swimming like a race. For a long time, I was far ahead in the lane next to her.

“I’m doing what the hell are you doing? You need to speed it up!” Stickney said. “So I started kicking it. Then that last 50, I made a flip turn because I saw her not too far in front of me, and I made a flip turn, and I was in the last 50 meters I didn’t breathe towards her, so I just bowed down. “

The photo captured Stickney’s expression when she realized she had won the race.

“I didn’t know I was going to win it,” she said. “So when I first hit the wall, it was very shocking to me, and it was very exciting. It wasn’t the time I wanted, but going home with money It was really great. I am very proud and grateful that I was able to do that. “

The race took place just days after another Stickney race (4×100 freestyle relay) with more disappointing results.Team USA first participated in the race but was eventually disqualified For early takeoff..

At the age of 24, she said it was like moving from the highest to the lowest and difficult to handle just two days before an individual race.

“In the end, I’m really proud of how I handled it and I was able to put it behind myself,” she said.

Morgan Stickney reacts after winning the gold medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle S8 final. – Alex Davidson / Getty Images of the International Paralympic Committee

In her third race, the 4×100 Medley Relay, Team USA was fourth when Stickney entered the pool.

Once again, she focused on swimming her race.

She said the race was about 25 meters left and she saw a splash of water nearby.

“That’s all I actually saw, and I was like,’I want this money, not today,'” Stickney said. “So I really just bowed and it was even more surprising to win it. But it’s not just you, so when you’re part of a relay it’s so special — get it It’s all of you, so it’s a real honor to be in the relay. “

The swimmer said he had no words to explain how he felt he was standing on the podium. See the American flag raised for these victories.

“It’s a great honor for me to be able to do it for our country, and it really shows that you can overcome any obstacles,” she said. “I’ve experienced a lot in the last 5 to 10 years, but in order to be able to overcome it and reach the other side, it’s really possible for someone with a really strong will. Things can knock us down, but we’re stronger than that and can always get up again. “

After each race, she received a text from surgeon Dr. Matthew Curty.

“He contacted me meant a lot … he could really see the love I have for sports,” Stickney said. “And he knows the journey I’ve taken directly. To be able to see him overcome everything I’ve done because he had to cut me off. And I think it was really cool. “

At the age of 15, Stickney’s left leg injury began to interfere with swimming with years of pain and surgery, and the infection eventually amputated the leg below the knee in May 2018.

She returned to the pool for training and turned to the 2020 Paralympics.

However, in early 2019, another injury to his right leg was discovered, this time a rare angiopathy. This caused the blood vessels in the legs to contract and contract, blocking the blood supply to the legs. This condition forced her to disconnect for the second time in October 2019.

Curty, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Forkner Hospital, performed both surgeries using experimental procedures developed in collaboration with MIT. Cutting cuttingAims to give patients more functional sensations and sensations by reproducing the pairing between the brain and body muscles that were severed during a typical cut. Stickney was the first patient to undergo this procedure bilaterally.

It was a great disappointment for Stickney that her parents and Curty were not allowed to see her competing in Tokyo.

But she said she had promised her doctor to watch over her in Paris in 2024.

From left: After winning the 4x100m Medley Relay, Team USA gold medalist Hannah Aspden, Mikaela Jenkins, Jessica Long and Morgan Stickney pose. – Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

She has already returned to the pool and is training in North Carolina in preparation for the World Para Swimming Championships in June. But she needs to rest for a while in the next few weeks for her next surgery. Her rare vascular disease has continued to limit blood flow to bones, shortening bones and shedding bone hardware since March.

“We continued to postpone surgery,” Stickney said. “And I just went to Tokyo and sucked up the pain and everything to make my dream come true.”

A native of New Hampshire said she expected she would have to get out of the water for about two weeks and use a wheelchair for about four to six weeks.

After that, she returns to pursuing her next big goal. Preparing for Paris 2024, we are working towards breaking the world record in the 400 meters freestyle.

“There are these different milestones between the world and so on, but I think the big focus is on Paris,” Stickney said. “And hopefully I’ll peak at that point, and it will really be my game. This was my first game and I won two. And it’s incredible That’s not to say-I’m back with two gold medals-but I want to be able to do more in Paris. “

One of the thoughts that ran through her mind after she won the gold medal in her personal race last month was that no one should be afraid to “dream big.”

It’s a lesson she wants other young athletes to leave her own journey.

“I had a dream of winning a gold medal about a year before the Olympics,” she said. “If I had told anyone other than my immediate family about those goals, they would probably laugh at me and say,’It’s a great dream Morgan, but go ahead. It won’t happen.'” So don’t be afraid to just dream big, because if you work hard on something, you can reach those goals. “

So she knows she needs to heal after surgery and chase her dreams. Also.

Morgan Stickney after winning the gold medal in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S8. – Alex Davidson / Getty Images of the International Paralympic Committee

Morgan Stickney won big in Tokyo. She’s already looking toward her next dream. Source link Morgan Stickney won big in Tokyo. She’s already looking toward her next dream.

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