Jessica Heims

Jessica Heims

US Paralympic Track & Field Athlete

About Jessica

A Swisher, Iowa native, Jessica found her passion in life through a unique athletic journey. She was born with amniotic banding syndrome which resulted in her right leg being amputated at one year old. As she grew older, she fell in love with track and field, while learning to battle the difficulties that came with being an athlete with a disability. During the latter years of high school, she decided to pursue competition on a global level and made Team USA for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, where she competed in the 400m and discus, made the finals and placed 7th and 8th, respectively. 

Since Rio 2016, Jessica has climbed the competitive ranks in her track events, including setting her first discus world record during the 2019 track season. Jessica graduated in 2021 from the University of Northern Iowa with a biology degree and a 4-year collegiate career on the university track team. She competed in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where she placed 5th in the discus and set a new American record. Jessica became a professional athlete following Tokyo 2020 and continues to train full-time as well as advocate for adaptive sports and the Paralympic movement. 

Jessica holding a mic and speaking to an audience

Off the field, Jessica is an experienced motivational speaker who shares the lessons she learned from her journey with her audience and how she has adapted to challenges that arise from living with a disability. She also speaks about the importance of a good coach in an athlete’s life and offers pragmatic tips to aspiring coaches. Finally, she speaks about how faith can recenter one’s priorities as an athlete and how faith allows one to realign their value as a person with God’s love instead of aligning only with medals, accomplishments, or titles.

Outside of sports, Jessica loves spending time with her husband and their two kitties, Rocky and Mango, cooking and baking together, watching and collecting DVDs, doing embroidery, and going to museums, learning about history and different cultures.

Contact Jessica

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