Morgan Stickney, a 24-year-old champion freestyle swimmer, will bring home a gold medal for Team USA in the women’s 400 meter freestyle swim.
At 14 years old, Stickney ranked in the top 20 nationally for the mile freestyle. She was aiming to someday compete in the Olympics as an able-bodied athlete before losing both legs.
After moving from New Hampshire to Cary, Stickney trained for the Paralympics at the Triangle Aquatic Center and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics in 100-meter and 400-meter freestyle.
“When I’m in the water, people aren’t like, ‘Oh my gosh, that girl has no legs.’ I’m not Morgan the amputee. I’m just Morgan. It’s my happy place and my home,” said Stickney.
Even without her legs, Stickney said her foundation is as strong as ever.
“I still live every single day. I have to be grateful for what I have,” she added.
Stickney is studying to become a pediatric oncologist.