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Joey Peppersack to represent the United States at Tokyo Paralympics

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:52 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Joey Peppersack, the grandson of Casper residents Donald and Linda Peppersack, is headed to the Tokyo Paralympics.

Like many kids, Joey Peppersack’s parents started in swim lessons at a young age. However, his talent was recognized early when his instructor recommended he join the swim team for the upcoming summer.

“I just kinda went with the flow and joined and started going to practices. It took a little bit of time for me to figure it out. I would swim in circles because I only have one leg and I’m kind of kicking on one side and I’m gonna kind of drift and play pin ball with the lane lines,” said Joey Peppersack.

After being on the swim team for about three years, Peppersack went to his first para-swim meet in Cincinnati, and knew this was something he wanted to really pursue. The first Olympics he watched were the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“I saw Michael Phelps win his eight gold medals and I thought, well you know, that seems like such a cool thing to do. I just wanna go someday. I just wanna go and compete in the Olympics or the Paralympics. Ever since 2008, I’ve been working towards going to a Paralympics,” said Peppersack.

Peppersack trains six days a week around eight times during the week, and lifts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Swimmers usually do about three miles a day during Paralympic training. Peppesack says the hard work is worth it to have this opportunity to represent the United States in Tokyo.

“To be able to go...It’s just everything. I’ve been working on this for more than half of my life. I’m only 22 and I’ve been swimming for 13 years. This has been the top goal for me for a long time,” said Peppersack.

He says he is looking forward to seeing everyone from across the world have the chance to represent their countries and their hard work. Walking through the village and seeing all the flags is something he has dreamed of for awhile.

“I think it’s just really cool to, you know, to speak to these people, learn about their experiences, and then maybe they will have advice for me and then I’ll be able to better myself as well,” said Peppersack.

The team leaves for Japan on August 14th and competition begins August 24th.

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