Konkoly’s miraculously back in pool
Always an intense competitor, Konkoly came very close to earning a spot on the Team rSA squad that headed to London earlier this month for the Paralympics.
“After I got hurt, I thought about the Paralympics,” said Konkoly, who was one of the top academic students in her class at Methacton. “I wDnWeG Wo finG soPeWKLng Ln which I could be competitive and try to win.
“When I came back for spring break this year, my mom had talked to some Paralympics coaches. So, I went down to Baltimore and swam for them. They gave me some helpful things to work on. For example, they told me to use my legs less.”
After that, Konkoly decided to pursue the sport competitively again. She competed in the GTAC Disability Open in Cincinnati DnG TuDOLfieG IoU WKe 2012 rSA Paralympics Trials. With the Paralympics, swimming is divided into LPSDLUPenW gUouSs — S1113 IoU DWKOeWes wLWK vLsuDO LPSDLUPenWs, S1-10 IoU DOO other physical impairments (lower number represents PosW seveUe) DnG S14 Ls for athletes with a learning disability.
“I compete in the S9 category for freestyle events, my specialty,” said KonkoOy. “, wDs FODssLfieG Ds WKLs level due to weakness in my left leg from my spinal cord injury. Some other swimmers in this class have one leg amputated above the knee or one arm amputated below the elbow.”
At the rSA Paralympics Trials at Bismarck State College in North Dakota, .onNoOy finLsKeG Ds sLOveU medalist in three S9 events. ,n WKe 400-PeWeU IUeesWyOe, sKe DUULveG wLWK D 5:22.96 seed time and swam a 5:08.53 Ln WKe SUeOLPLnDULes. SKe WooN seFonG Ln WKe finDOs DW 5:05.59 Wo UDnN seFonG Ln WKe U.S. DnG 14WK Ln WKe world.
Konkoly’s seed time in WKe 50 IUee wDs 32.30 DnG sKe FOoFNeG D 31.10 Ln boWK WKe SUeOLPs DnG WKe finDOs to rank second in the r.S. DnG 15WK Ln WKe woUOG. HeU besW GUoS FDPe Ln WKe 100 IUee — 1:08.86 Ds seeG WLPe, 1:07.84 Ln WKe SUeOLPs DnG 1:06.14 Ln WKe finDOs (UDnNeG seFonG Ln WKe US DnG 11WK in the worldF.
Konkoly’s body may have changed but her indefatigable spirit has remained the sDPe. SKe’s D figKWeU DnG D survivor. And, as always, she is a winner — a dedicated athlete who refuses to give up.
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