The Paralympics Games close on Sunday - have you been watching? As of yesterday Team USA has racked up over 70 medals. Here are some of the highlights of the Games so far:
Swimmer Jessica Long has won seven medals, five of which are gold. Yesterday in qualifiers for the women's 100m freestyle (S8), Long set a new world record of 1:06.06, only to break it hours later when she took home the gold in the finals with a time of 1:05.63. Long is the most decorated athlete of the 2012 Paralympics.
It took Tatyana McFadden three Paralympic Games to win her first gold, but she did it on Monday with a win on the track in the 400m (T54). She earned four silver and two bronze in her last two Paralympics appearances; she's added two golds in London, with another in the 800m on Wednesday. Today she competes in her fourth of five events, the 1500m. Tomorrow she'll race against her 16-year-old sister, Hannah, in the 100m final. (The two, while the only siblings on the U.S. Paralympic team, aren't blood relatives. Tatyana was born in Russia with spina bifida and given up by her parents who did not want a child with a disability; Hannah, an above-the-knee amputee who also has a congenital bone problem in her hip, is Albanian. Their mother, Debbie McFadden, adopted both girls.
Today Navy Lt. Brad Snyder will swim in his primary event, the 400m men's freestyle, exactly one year after he lost his sight when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on duty in Afghanistan. Snyder, who has been swimming since he was 11, has already won gold in the 100m and silver in the 50m.
These are just a few of the amazing stories surrounding the 2012 Paralympic Games. Keep following the action at www.usparalympics.org where you can watch streaming video, or for a global perspective, go to www.paralympic.org.