The Paralympic Games are underway.

Competitors are in Tokyo to maybe win a gold medal, if they can.

The benchmark for Paralympic gold, by the way: 55 medals by a single athlete.

Trischa Zorn is the athlete who won all those medals.

She was born with a genetic disorder that kept her irises from developing.

She took up competitive swimming as a kid and won a swimming scholarship to the University of Nebraska, where she became a four-time All-American.

Her Paralympic career began in 1980, and in her first two games she won gold in every event she entered, which was a lot.

She swam freestyle and backstroke, she swam breaststroke and butterfly, and, of course, individual medleys.

And she swam a wide range of distances too, from 50 meter sprints to 400 meter races.

In all, Zorn won 41 gold, nine silver and five bronze medals in all, over seven Paralympics.

She also worked as a teacher and a lawyer along the way, and has been an advocate for veterans as well as for Paralympic athletes.

Now, she’s a member of the Paralympic Hall of Fame, and each year USA Swimming gives a swimmer with a disability the Trischa L. Zorn Award in honor of an athlete who made history in the Paralympic pool.


On this day in 1936, the Bremen IN, Enquirer ran a short piece about inventor Isabella Gilbert.

She had developed a dimple-maker, which she claimed would add dimples to a person’s face if they wore the contraption.

It pressed knobs into your cheeks.

I don’t think that’s how skin works.

Swimmer Trischa Zorn’s Paralympic Legacy Goes Beyond Her Staggering 55-Medal Haul (Team USA)

Who Wants Dimples? (Bremen Enquirer via

Our Patreon backers deserve gold medals for being great

Trischa Zorn at the London Paralympic Games in 2012. By User:LauraHale – Cropped version of File:Trischa Zorn 2.JPG, CC BY-SA 3.0