A Super Bowl commercial featured swimmer Jessica Long, a 13-time paralympic gold medalist, and her incredible life story Sunday. Long was adopted from a Siberian orphanage, and was born without fibulas, ankles and heels.
“I’m so excited for everyone to see it, and kind of get the full story,” the 28-year-old swimmer said about the Toyota commercial. “Not just the gold-medalist Jessica Long, but where it started, in that Russian orphanage.”
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) February 8, 2021
Long is training for her fifth Paralympic Games, which will at last be held in August in Tokyo after a year delay due to coronavirus.
The commercial begins with Long swimming, and then shows a flashback where a woman representing her mother receives a phone call informing her that the baby girl that she hopes to adopt has been born with a “rare condition,” and that “her legs will have to be amputated.”
“I know this is difficult to hear,” the voice on the phone says. “Her life, it won’t be easy.” The voice is accompanied by scenes of a young Long swimming in various competitions as crowds cheer her on.
The mother responds with inspiring words, saying, “It might not be easy, but it will be amazing. I can’t wait to meet her.”
USA Today reported, “Long was adopted by a Baltimore couple when she was 13 months old, and her legs were amputated below the knee five months later. In the years since, she has competed in four Paralympic Games and won 23 medals, making her the second-most decorated Paralympian in U.S. history.”