Paralympic Swimmer Jessica Long Shares Her Adoption Story in Powerful Super Bowl Ad for Toyota02/08/2021
Jessica Long has long inspired people with her story — but she just got an even bigger audience.
Toyota's 2021 Super Bowl commercial features the 28-year-old Paralympic gold medalist and a reenactment of how her adoptive mother found out that she would need to have her legs amputated.
"Mrs. Long. We found a baby girl for your adoption," says a woman on the phone with Long's onscreen mother. "But there are some things you need to know. She's in Siberia and she was born with a rare condition."
"Her legs will need to be amputated," the woman adds as the scenes play out floating in water while Long swims. "Her legs will need to be amputated. I know this is difficult to hear. Her life, it won't be easy."
The commercial then shifts to Long winning a race as her mother watches from the kitchen table.
"It might not be easy, but it'll be amazing," Long's mom says. "I can't wait to meet her."
The commercial voiceover then adds, "We believe there is hope and strength in all of us."
Back in 2016, the swimmer spoke to PEOPLE about inspiring young women.
"Winning gold medals is incredible and obviously it's what I want to do, but there's something so special about having a little girl who has just lost her leg from cancer come up and tell me I'm her hero," she said then.
"It took me years to realize that if I act ashamed and I try to hide them people kind of react the same way," she added. "But if I wear my shorts or a cute summer dress and I show off my legs and I'm willing to talk about it, people are engaged and they want to know about my story."
The renowned athlete was adopted by Americans from a Russian orphanage at 13 months old. At 18 months old, her legs were amputated below the knees. In total, she's won 29 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 4 bronze ones.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs faced off at Super Bowl LV on Sunday in Tampa. Tampa Bay won 31-9. The game aired on CBS.
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