Jessica Long has had to overcome obstacles all of her life. The field she had to beat out to win an ESPY on Wednesday night for the Best Female Athlete with a Disability was a tough one, filled with some remarkable athletes.
Long, who had to have her legs amputated when she was just 18 months old in Russia where she was born, triumphed once again, winning the award for the second time. The swimmer is the second repeat winner in the award's history.
Long grew up in Middle River after emigrating from Russia. According to her website, she was born "without fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in [her] feet." At 12, she became the youngest member of the United States' 2004 Paralympic swimming team.
More recently, at the 2012 Paralympic swimming trials where she qualified for the London Games, she broke five world records. London will be her third Paralympics.
After the event, Long tweeted: "CANNOT believe I won the ESPY award! Seriously in shock! Thank you to the voters. This is for you."