Jessica Heims, UNI Track & Field | Paralympic World Record holder
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Jessica Heims, UNI Track & Field | Paralympic World Record holder

November 19, 2019


up later in our shows
we preview the MVC championships, right now
here’s a story on a discus thrower for the Panthers
Jessica Heimes. BRAD: UNI sophomore discus
thrower and sprinter Jessica Heims reached
a huge milestone this outdoor season. The Solon, Iowa, native
threw a world record mark in the discus. Her 105 foot, 7 inch throw
is further than any other para-athlete competing in
the F64 classification. A classification for
athletes with a lower leg impairment. JESSICA: I officially had
my leg amputated at a year old. And I was a year and a
half or two when I got my first got into
the prosthetic. Of course my first one
was like a wooden block not the greatest quality but eventually
more technology got better when I got my first
running process that I got the age of 12. BRAD: Her love for
competition blossomed from there. Family runs turned into
competing in high school which turned into a trip
to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to throw
discus & run the 400. JESSICA:You have a different connection that you do with most athletes. I get there & we all came from
similar backgrounds and you understand what it’s like to be a paralympic or disabled athlete
so getting there you have an immediate connection with
people even if you don’t speak the same language
at all or I can never met them before. That’s really cool to
be there and it’s very inspiring looking around
and seeing that everyone has been through so many
things in their life but they’re here competing BRAD: Jessica’s training
is continuing with the UNI track and field team, and
working with throws coach Dan O’Mara on improving
her technique. JESSICA: Even last year
coming in my first year so wonderful and
supportive with all my events that is really nice
to come into a team where I know I’m accepted and
welcomed and that they support what I do for the
Panthers and when I do when I’m competing not for
the Panthers as well. And she never complains she never
says anything negative and never complain she’s
always working hard and we have some of those shows
up every day and is working hard you know it
just you want to do that to. It makes us work harder
as coaches. Makes our athletes work harder. Makes our
training staff work harder. I mean there’s not a
single person she’s around in a daily basis so she
doesn’t lift up and make better. BRAD: Just
as Jessica’s lifting up the Panther track team,
she’s also lifting up people around the world,
looking for examples of doing their best. JESSICA: Yeah, it’s a big responsibility. I’ve kind of grown figuring that it’s become something I
can help others in the community with. It’s a little
difficult sometimes knowing I have to carry myself a
certain way but it’s an honor if I can
help promote someone or help someone with my story
I’d love to. A thank you to Jess for sharing her
story with us. To follow her time as a UNI
Panther stay tuned right here the Panthers Sports
Talk. Up next we talk about what’s next for the
Panther track and field team as sites get
zeroed in on the MVC championships and we look
at sophomore picture Emma Olejniczak. Stay tuned for more
Panther Sports Talk.

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