[Congressional Record Volume 153, Number 70 (Tuesday, May 1, 2007)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E907-E908]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         HONORING JESSICA LONG


                     HON. C.A. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER

                              of maryland

                    in the house of representatives

                          Tuesday, May 1, 2007

  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Madam Speaker, I rise before you today to honor 
Jessica Long, in celebration other selection as 2006 U.S. Paralympian 
of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee.
  Jessica Long was born in Siberia and was adopted from a Russian 
orphanage at the age of 13 months along with her brother Joshua by 
Steven and Beth Long of Middle River, Maryland. Because of lower leg 
anomalies, her legs were amputated when she was 18 months old. She 
learned to walk with prostheses and has been unstoppable ever since. 
Long has been involved in many sports including gymnastics, 
cheerleading, ice skating, biking, trampoline, and, of course, she 
loves to swim. She began swimming in her grandparent's pool before 
joining her first competitive team in 2002. The next year, Jessica was 
selected as Maryland Swimming's 2003 Female Swimmer with a Disability 
of the Year. Jessica made the international swimming world take notice 
at the 2004 Paralympic Games, winning three gold medals. Only 12 years 
old at the time, Jessica was the youngest athlete on the U.S. 
Paralympic Team.
  Jessica had a phenomenal year in 2006 with a long list of impressive 
accomplishments. She set five world records and earned nine gold medals 
at the 2006 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World 
Championships in Durban, South Africa in December. Her gold medal 
performances were in free style relay (world record), 100-meter 
backstroke, 100-meter freestyle (world record), 100-meter fly (world 
record), IM relay, 100-meter breast stroke, 200-meter IM (world 
record), 400-meter freestyle (world record), and 50-meter freestyle. 
She also set three world records at the 2006 U.S. Paralympic National 
championships in August; two world records at the GTAC Open in 
Ypsilanti, Michigan, in May; two world records at the Belgian Open in 
Antwerp, Belgium in May; and four world records at the Spring Can-Am in 
London, Ontario, in April. She currently holds world records in 12 
events, one as part of a

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relay. She is Swimming World's 2006 Disabled Swimmer of the Year and 
was named a finalist for the Women's Sports Foundation's Sportswoman of 
the Year.
  Madam Speaker, I ask that you join with me today to honor Ms. Jessica 
Long. She is an outstanding and dedicated member of the United States 
Paralympic Team. In spite of her disability, she has shown a unique and 
committed work ethic in sports training and competition. Jessica has 
shown the world that no limitation can prevent an individual from 
achieving great success. It is with great pride that I congratulate her 
on her selection as the 2006 United States Paralympian of the Year.