A native of LianYunGang, China, Mei Mei was born with proxmal femoral focal deficiency in her right leg, which was amputated after several surgeries. Adopted from China at 18 months old, she grew up in Macon, Georgia. A triathlete from an early age, she settled into swimming after connecting with coach Fred Lamback. After competing in the US Paralympic trials in 2016 at just 12 years old, MeiMei won two medals (including one gold) in the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.
Away from the pool:
MeiMei is home-schooled and hopes to enter college after the 2021 Paralympics. She wants to study kinesiology and work as an athletic trainer.
In her own words:
“No one really knows what the Paralympics are. They think it’s like the Special Olympics. Paralympics is parallel to the Olympics—we’re elite athletes. We’re just . . . . . a little different.”
“With my birth defect, I needed a lot of therapy to get used to walking and stuff, so my mom took me to swimming lessons just to get my strength up. As soon as I did it, I just fell in love with it and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
- Sport: Swimming
- Limb Difference: Congenital right above knee
- DOB: 1/21/04
- Residence: Orlando, FL
- Classification: S9/SB8/SM9