ⓘ Julia Gaffney
Julia Kay Gaffney is an American Paralympic swimmer who competes in international level events. She was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency and had her right leg with amputated above the knee and her left leg amputated below the knee due to fibular hemimelia when she was born.
Gaffney was brought up in a Russian orphanage before being adopted by an American family from Arkansas when she was five years old.
1. Sporting career
Gaffney wanted to play softball but due to her disability circumstances she found it too difficult, she was then encouraged to take swimming lessons and she started competing in 2014. Her first international debut in competive swimming was in California at the World Para Swimming World Series, she met her idol Jessica Long and Paralympic swimming coach Queenie Nichols who both inspired and influenced her to continue her swimming efforts.
At the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City, Gaffney won her first medals in the pool: five silver medals. In London, two years later at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, Gaffney became a world champion in the womens 200m individual medley SM7 where she was 0.02 seconds ahead of defending champion Tess Routliffe and Mallory Weggemann.
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