Thirteen time American paralympic winner Jessica Long was born without legs. She appeared in this year’s Super Bowl Toyota commercial. The 1-minute commercial shared Long’s adoption story and childhood as she reflects on her life as an adult.
Throughout the commercial a woman from the orphanage is speaking on the phone with a woman named Beth Long. As twenty eight year old swimmer is swimming across, the commercial captures from the moment she was a baby in an orphanage in Siberia to growing up as a young girl. As Long swims to the finish line she demonstrates true strength, she continues to move forward and swim.
Mrs. Long the woman who is going to adopt her is told on the phone her legs will need to be amputated. The woman on the phone said “Her life won’t be easy.” Long’s soon to be stepmother responded, “It might not be easy but it will be amazing. I can’t wait to meet her” as she is sitting down in the kitchen with her husband. As the crowd is cheering Long on, she wins first place in the race. Long smiles at her stepmother. The ending message Toyota shares is “We believe there is hope and strength in all of us.”
The swimmer has received tremendous support and recognition for her inspiring story as an athlete. Long shared on her Instagram story the reaction of her stepparents while watching the commercial. It was very emotional as both of them became teary-eyed. Days prior, Long shared a baby photo of her at the orphanage in Russia on social media she shared, “When you watch this spot, just know how many little details went into it. I think that’s why I get so emotional… seeing the care that went into depicting these moments of my life and my story being shared in such a big way.”
Yesterday Jessica Long made an appearance on the NBC Nightly News, she shared about swimming as a child, “I loved the fact that I could take off my legs, jump in the pool and I felt like the other kids. It was the first time in my life that I felt like I had an equal playing field.” Long’s story inspires many to persevere and have hope in their dreams. Also, she teaches many to be proud of who they are and where they come from. Long has won 23 medals 13 are gold.