Mallory Weggemann, 2012 Paralympian
Mallory Weggemann had her life changed on January 21, 2008. A routine epidural to help treat back pain left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down. Having been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven, and still coping with her new disability, she found one thing unchanged—her love for swimming.
Mallory returned to the pool in April 2008, and has been breaking national and world records ever since. She currently holds 16 World Records, 34 American Records, and has received numerous awards highlighting her achievements. She was the 2009, 2010, and 2011 USA Swimming Disabled Swimmer of the Year, and the 2011 ESPY winner for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.
Prior to the London 2012 Paralympics, Mallory ranked first in six of seven of her events, and was a favorite to bring home nine Paralympic Gold Medals. On the eve of the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies, an unexpected turn of events led Mallory to be reclassified and set to compete against less disabled athletes. Though her dream of capturing nine gold medals was slipping away, Mallory defied the odds and showed the true meaning of the word “champion.” She showcased her amazing abilities by winning gold and setting a Paralympic Record in the 50m freestyle. She also anchored the bronze medal-winning 4x100 medley relay team, bringing USA back from fifth place. It has been deemed one of the most memorable moments of the London Games, and has inspired many people across the world.
By The Tree
By The Tree is a contemporary Christian rock group known for their hook infused pop-rock sound and refreshing lyrics. The two-time Dove Award-winning band achieved success with their album Hold You High, which features the number one radio hit, Beautiful One. Their highly-anticipated fifth album, World on Fire, showcases the band's signature style while centering on the need for God and allowing His light and love to radiate through people to share with the world.
Jon Pritikin, 2009 Guinness World Records holder, combines attention-grabbing feats of strength with a message of overcoming incredible challenges in his motivational presentations. For nearly 20 years, his organization, Feel The Power, has been instrumental in motivating students to make positive, future-shaping choices. Diagnosed at an early age with a severe learning disability, Pritikin endured cruel and relentless taunting, ridiculing, and bullying from his school peers and neighborhood children on a daily basis. Today, he travels across the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia using his story to positively and effectively challenge students of all ages to address the widespread issues of bullying, poor self-image, and overcoming personal obstacles.