Cedar Falls athlete preps for upcoming Paralympic games

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:19 PM CDT
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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KYOU) - Iowa native Jessica Heims is one of a kind this year -- gearing up for the Tokyo Paralympic Games in August.

She’s the only ambulatory discus thrower representing the state of Iowa. “I’m really trying to remind myself just to appreciate it and take a few moments each day to remind myself this is amazing and to really soak it all in because it goes by so fast,” Heims shared of the upcoming games.

This is Heims’s second year and 11th year practicing the sport. Heims, whose leg was amputated when she was just an infant, says she’s dialed in with her practice.

She says her schedule at the University of Northern Iowa is a full-time job between practices and training sessions.

When asked if she ever feels held back because of her disability -- she says not a chance. “Every athlete experiences their challenges and individual experiences. So, some people’s aren’t obvious mine just happens to be more obvious.”

The Paralympic Games are set to take place from August 24th through September 5th.

In a recent announcement from the International Paralympic Committee. Paralympians and Olympians will now earn equal payouts for medal performances.

Paralympic athletes will now receive $37,500 for each gold medal, $22,500 for silver, and $15,000 for bronze.

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