Paralympic Swimmer Becca Meyers Is Out Here Setting 2 New World Records at Nationals
Six-time Paralympic medalist Becca Meyers broke the world record in the 400-meter individual medley SM12 at the 2019 US Paralympics Swimming Para National Championships on Dec. 6. The record, previously held by Trischa Zorn, the most decorated Paralympian in history, from 1990 onward, was bested by almost 12 seconds. "Breaking a record that old feels amazing," Becca said, according to teamusa.org. "I'm so excited about my time in the 400 IM, as well as breaking the record held by one of the greatest swimmers of all-time."
Becca also broke the women's 200-meter butterfly S12 record the following day. The 25-year-old was born deaf and developed a vision impairment due to the rare genetic disorder Usher syndrome — she reportedly lost her peripheral vision and, according to USA Swimming, doctors think she could lose her vision completely around her 40th birthday.
Becca is supported by a seeing eye dog named Birdie, and USA Swimming reports that she had a cochlear implant put in when she was young, then another when she was 15, which gave her "full, stereo hearing for the first time in her life." Note: just like in any Paralympic sport, swimming events are split up by classifications based on athletes' impairments.
Becca recently beat her own world record and received gold in the 400-meter freestyle S13 at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London. She's said in the past that she aspires to make it to Tokyo 2020, which would be her third Paralympic Games (she took home three golds and a silver in Rio 2016 and, in London 12, took home a silver and a bronze). Amid Nationals, Becca expressed excitement about training for Tokyo in the coming year.
"I love being in the water; I always have," Becca, who was honoured with the Trischa L. Zorn Award in 2016 and 2018 and also received the 2015 and 2017 ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete With a Disability, told usaswimming.org last year. "It's the one place where I can shut the rest of the world out and just enjoy and relax."