About Jessica

Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ

Residence: Cumming, GA


Personal Brief

In 1991, at the age of 7, Jessica was involved in a car accident that fractured her spine and left her paralyzed. Since her accident, she has been involved in many sports including road racing, swimming, basketball, track, and field. Today, she considers track and road racing her first love. She was a member of the US Paralympics track and field team and the University of Illinois team.

Jessica has had many career highlights throughout her time competing. Previously, she was the World Record holder in the T53 200m with a time of 28.93 seconds, in the T53 400m with a time of 54.88 seconds and in the T53 800m with a time of 1:49.82. Over the years, Jessica has competed in many international competitions including 4 World Championships (1998 Birmingham, England; 2002 Lille, France; 2006 Assen, Netherlands; and 2010 Christchurch, New Zealand) and 4 Paralympic Games (2000 Sydney, Australia; 2004 Athens, Greece; 2008 Beijing, China; and 2012 London, England).

In 2010, Jessica graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was pursuing a master’s degree in Community Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Administration. Jessica completed her undergraduate work at the University of Illinois in May of 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology.

On a national level, Jessica serves as an advocate and a voice for athletes. She is one of two Vice-Chairs on the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Athletes’ Advisory Council (AAC). In this role, Jessica is able to share ideas, concerns and other issues with fellow Olympic and Paralympic athletes in an effort to better the opportunities and the support shown for athletes around the country. As an extension of her role on the AAC, Jessica serves on the USOC’s Paralympic Advisory Committee, an advisory group to the USOC Board of Directors. Additionally, she currently serves as the Secretary on the Executive Board of Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports, USA and as Secretary on the Executive Board of Wheelchair Track and Field, USA.

Sport Accomplishments

2012

  • Paralympic Games (London, England): Bronze medal – 800m, 4th place – 100m, 4th place – 200m, 5th place – 400m
  • Set the World Record in the T53 200m – 28.93

2008

  • 5 x Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games – Gold medal 400m, Silver medal 100m, Silver medal 200m, Silver medal 800m and Bronze medal 4x100m Relay, 4th place 1500m
  • Set the World Record in the T53 400m – 54.88

2007

  • IAAF World Championships (Osaka, Japan) Bronze medal 1500m
  • Set the World Record in the T53 200m – 29.51
  • Set the World Record in the T53 400m – 55.42
  • Set the World Record in the T53 800m – 1:49.82

2006

  • IPC Athletics World Championships (Assen, Netherlands) – Gold medal 100m, Gold medal 400m, Silver medal 200m, Bronze medal 800m

2005

  • IPC European Championships (Espoo, Finland) – Gold medal 800m, Bronze medal 400m

2004

  • Paralympic Games (Athens, Greece) – 4th place 400m, 4th place 800m, 5th place 100m, 8th place 1500m

2002

  • IPC Athletics World Championships (Lille, France) – Gold medal 400m, Gold medal 800m, Silver medal 100m

2000

  • Paralympic Games (Sydney, Australia) – Silver medal 800m

1998

  • IPC Athletics World Championships (Birmingham, England) – Bronze medal 100m, Bronze medal 400m

Honors

2008

  • Nominated for an ESPY under the category Best Female Athlete with a Disability
  • Recipient of the Timothy J. Nugent Award in recognition of service performed by a student to both the rehabilitation program and fellow students
  • Inducted into Hillsborough High School’s Hall of Fame
  • Selected as Athlete of the Month in February by the organizing committee for Chicago 2016

2007

  • Selected as the 2007 Paralympian of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee
  • Nominated for the 2007 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year
  • Recipient of the Nationwide Achievement Award for Female Athletics at the Visa Paralympic World Cup held in Manchester, UK

2006

  • Recipient of the Track & Field Athlete of the Year Award presented by USA Track & Field Committee on Athletics for the Disabled
  • Nominated for the 2007 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year Award
  • Recipient of the George Huff Award for scholar-athletes from the University of Illinois

2005

  • Recipient of the George Huff Award for scholar-athletes from the University of Illinois
  • Named one of the “20 Outstanding Women You Should Know” by the Illini Radio Group

2004

  • Recipient of the George Huff Award for scholar-athletes from the University of Illinois

2002

  • Recipient of the Just One Break (JOB) Junior Role Model of the Year Award

2001

  • Recipient of the State of New Jersey Alvin Slootsky Exemplary Recreation Lifestyle for an Individual Award

2000

  • Recipient of the Wheelchair Sports, USA Junior Female Track Excellence Award

1999

  • Recipient of the Sports ‘N’ Spokes Magazine’s Junior Athlete of the Year Award

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