Minnesotan Mallory Weggemann swimming for gold in 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

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4,537 athletes are going for gold in Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which began on Tuesday. Of the thousdands competeing, 18 hail from either Minnesota or Wisconsin.

One of them is Eagan, Minn. native Mallory Weggemann.

The two time paralympic medalist is making her third appearance in as many summer olympic games. Weggemann will hit the pool in six individual events, including the women’s 100 meter breaststroke SB6 on Friday.

While fighting to return to the podium, she took a moment to reflect on what her success means to younger women in an interview with KSTP.

"Anywhere you turn you very seldomly see disability representation at the forefront," Weggemann said. "I realize through what I’m doing as an athlete, when I get behind those starting blocks and I get up, I’m able to use my craft in my way to pave a path forward so our next generation doesn’t ask, what about me?"

The 200 meter medley SM7 is her first event, which is scheduled for Thursday at 8:19pm Central Time.