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8 Amazing Moments From the 2020 Paralympics Games That Show the Best in Sports

Simply two days into the Tokyo Video games, Individuals Anastasia Pagonis and Gia Pergolini—each simply 17 years outdated and Paralympic newcomers—secured gold medals in swimming and smashed world information within the course of.

Pagonis received Group USA’s first gold of the Video games when she completed first within the ladies’s 400-meter freestyle S11, clocking 4 minutes, 54.49 seconds, to beat the sector by greater than 10 seconds. (S11 is certainly one of three classifications for imaginative and prescient impairment.) Pagonis’s time broke her personal Paralympic report of 4:58.40, which she had set within the warmth earlier within the day. It additionally eclipsed her world report of 4:56.16, which she achieved on the U.S. Paralympic Trials in June.

Shortly after Pagonis’s win, Pergolini’s efficiency of 1:04.64 within the ladies’s 100-meter backstroke S13 received her a gold medal and broke her personal world report (1:05.05), which she had set within the prelim earlier within the day. (S13 is one other classification for imaginative and prescient impairment.)

Swimming on the Paralympic stage fulfilled a childhood dream for Pergolini, who’s a two-time World Para Athletics Championship medalist. “Since I used to be 12, I’ve been serious about this, and seeing all of it play out and are available true.… It’s a once-in-a-lifetime expertise,” she instructed Group USA of the prospect to go to Tokyo.

The Paralympics had been additionally thrilling for Pagonis, a rising social media star with 2 million followers on TikTok who just lately opened as much as SELF about her Tokyo expertise and the way she manages her psychological well being.

“I take into consideration the strain not as, Oh, my gosh, the entire world is watching me, what if I fail?” Pagonis instructed SELF. As an alternative, Pagonis says she frames it as, “The entire world is watching me, and so they need me to succeed.”

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