Merely two days into the Tokyo Games, Individuals Anastasia Pagonis and Gia Pergolini—every unbiased 17 years feeble and Paralympic rookies—secured gold medals in swimming and smashed world data at some level of.
Pagonis obtained Workers USA’s first gold of the Games when she carried out first within the ladies’s 400-meter freestyle S11, clocking 4 minutes, 54.49 seconds, to beat the field by bigger than 10 seconds. (S11 is one of three classifications for vision impairment.) Pagonis’s time broke her possess Paralympic shriek of 4: 58.40, which she had space within the heat earlier within the day. It additionally eclipsed her world shriek of 4: 56.16, which she completed on the U.S. Paralympic Trials in June.
Rapidly after Pagonis’s salvage, Pergolini’s performance of 1: 04.64 within the ladies’s 100-meter backstroke S13 obtained her a gold medal and broke her possess world shriek (1: 05.05), which she had space within the prelim earlier within the day. (S13 is one other classification for vision impairment.)
Swimming on the Paralympic stage fulfilled a childhood dream for Pergolini, who is a two-time World Para Athletics Championship medalist. “Since I used to be 12, I’ve been desirous about this, and seeing it all play out and come factual.… It’s a once-in-a-lifetime abilities,” she suggested Workers USA of the chance to head to Tokyo.
The Paralympics contain been additionally thrilling for Pagonis, a rising social media enormous identify with 2 million followers on TikTok who these days opened up to SELF about her Tokyo abilities and how she manages her mental effectively being.
“I take into story the stress no longer as, Oh, my gosh, your entire world is observing me, what if I fail?” Pagonis suggested SELF. As an different, Pagonis says she frames it as, “The overall world is observing me, and to boot they need me to be triumphant.”