Jessica Long

USA Paralympic Swimmer


Ms. Long has achieved the status of a paralympic swimmer for the USA paralympic swimming team.

Her disability was an ascribed status, meaning that she was born with disability. When she was born she had fibular hemimelia, which is when an individual is born without fibula, ankles, heels, and most foot bones. At 18 months old her lower legs were amputated so she could be fit for prosthetic legs.

She is a daughter and a sister, both of which are ascribed statuses.

Jessica is the only disabled athlete to be awarded the AAU Sullivan award, which she recieved in 2006.


Jessica Long, as a Christian, values God above all else. She believes it was His plan to be adopted from Siberia and brought to America to become a swimmer and inspire others. Her five keys to success are determination, visualization, practice, support, and faith. A person should never give up on their dream no matter how out of reach it may seem.

Sports As a Subculture

The sport that Jessica Long participates in is swimming. She first starting competing when she was 10 years old, and made it to the 2004 Athens Olympics at only 12 years old. Swimming is both a team sport and an individual sport because the team's success depends on how well one swimmer swims, as well as the success of that one individual. It has both team events and individual events, like the 200 freestyle relay and the 100 backstroke, respectively.


Jessica Long became an active swimmer when she was ten years old, but had always loved swimming. She learned how to swim with her sister at their grandparent's house, and she said they would pretend to be mermaids for hours. Jessica loves swimming because it is one of the only sports where it does not feel like she is without legs. Jessica got very good at swimming very fast, and just two years latter competed in the 2004 Athens paralymics. There she won three gold medals.

2012 London Olympic Games

The 2012 Olympic Games was the third Paralympics Long participated in. The Paralympic games are held almost immediately after the conclusion of the Olympic games. London is located in England, which is part of the United Kingdom, and it notorious for being constantly cloudy and rainy. In these Olympics Long won eight medals, five of which were gold.

Social Interaction and Competition

Competition in the Olympics is both between individuals and their countries. Individual or teams battle each other in events, but in the end all the medal counts for the countries are taken. Whoever had the most amount of Olympic golds is technically the winner, as are the individuals or teams who win each event or sports category. Relationships between participants are made based on who is on another's team or who the athletes meet in Olympic village. No matter who an athlete becomes friends with, in the end there can only be one winner of a certain medal.

Symbolic Theory

The Olympics and the Paralympics symbolize the coming together of the world to celebrate each other cultures and put our talents on display. One symbol known world-wide is the the five rings. The five rings stand for the five continents athletes traveled from to partake in the games when they were designed by. The interlocking of the rings symbolizes the nations of the world coming together and competing against each other in unity. The colors of the rings and the white background of the flag contain at least one color of each country's flag in it.

Molly Hanlon 1

Jessica Lang- What I learned by Molly Hanlon 1