The London Games athlete received the most rounds of applause during her speech than any other speaker and had a full standing ovation at the end of her talk. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
The London Games athlete received the most rounds of applause during her speech than any other speaker and had a full standing ovation at the end of her talk. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17: Paralympian Jessica Lewis continues to inspire.

The London Games athlete received the most rounds of applause during her speech than any other speaker and had a full standing ovation at the end of her talk.

Lewis, was a top eight athlete in the T53 100m, 200m and 400m in London.

She talked about her training habits, including doing a 10k prior to attending Tedx.

At eight weeks old, Lewis went to Boston for a surgery to remove a bone spur in her spine.

“After that surgery, I just had complication after complication. I was in the hospital for about 56 days and had about 26 hours of surgery with a hospital bill of $160,000 at the end of it.”

She said her family has always supported her and never told her she couldn’t do something because of her disability.

One of the few times she was told ‘no’ was when Lewis wanted to play volleyball. It wasn’t because her mom didn’t think she could do it, but it was because she was already doing ballet, horseback riding and swimming so there wasn’t time to add volleyball to her list of activities.

“One of my favourite stories was when I wanted to get from the floor to my wheelchair. Instead of picking me up and doing it for me, she told me to figure it out.”

She said that wasn’t mean, it helped teach her determination and independence.

Lewis said she needed determination in 2011 after having minor surgery that required rehab for the next year.

“I was really straining through level 10 back pain and a lot of (therapy) sessions ended up with me in tears. But I knew if I did this session it would bring me closer to London.

“I just kept pushing through it and my coach believed in me and encouraged me. He kind of pushed me to my limit.”

Lewis said after competing in London she is now pushing onward towards Rio in 2016.

She said the one big idea she would like to pass on from her story is “I’m a Paralympian and that’s something nobody can take away from me. I earned the right and I would like to share everybody can dream big. Dream as big as they want and they can achieve it if they are willing to put in the time, the dedication and the hard work, you can achieve anything you want.”