Name: Michelle Konkoly
Hometown: Eagleville, PA
Current residence: Naples, FL
Education: I studied Biology at Georgetown University, and am currently on a deferral from medical school while I train for Rio!
Sport: Paralympic Swimming
How did you get started in your sport? I was a late-bloomer into the world of swimming – I didn’t start until I was 13! I swam through high school and attended Georgetown to swim. However, during my freshman year of college, in 2011, I slipped while trying to open a window and fell five stories to the ground. I broke numerous bones, including my L2 vertebrae, and sustained a spinal cord injury that left me paralyzed from the waist down. After 3 surgeries and months of intensive rehab, I eventually regained the ability to walk again, though I had permanent weakness in me legs. Despite this huge curveball, I was determined to continue swimming! I discovered Paralympic swimming in 2012, and quickly rose to the top of the world rankings for S9 classification sprint freestyle events. Today, I’m living in Naples, FL and am training full-time for the Rio Paralympic Games!
Achievements: 3x silver medalist at 2015 IPC World Championships in 50m free, 100m free, and 4x100m free relay; 2016 US Paralympic National Team Member; 5-time American Record Holder
Why did you choose your sport? Swimmers are notoriously uncoordinated, and I am no exception! I tried many sports as a kid, but swimming really stuck because I loved the direct correlation between the amount of work you put in at practice and your performance at meets.