Stoke Mandeville 70: Trischa Zorn’s legendary triumphs27.07.2018
A look at most decorated Paralympian ahead of anniversary of first Games
Of all the titles US swimmer Trischa Zorn won, there is one that will always be the most memorable. At Athens 2004, the 41-time Paralympic champion claimed bronze in the women’s 100m backstroke S12, her last medal at a Games.
But there is a specific reason which made it “the most significant one”.
“During my preparation for the Games, my mom passed away from cancer in June 2004. She had always attended all my competitions and it was hard to know she was not going to be there.
“I never thought I could not be beat. Once you are at the top of the mountain it is awesome. But staying on top of that mountain is harder than the original climb up the mountain.”
“With the interruption from training and the emotional stress, I still managed to win a medal at my last Games. It was a tribute to my mom.”
With the 70th anniversary of the first Stoke Mandeville Games, which later became the Paralympic Games, coming on 29 July, we recalled the best performances of the most decorated Paralympian in history.
Zorn's career in the pool was so outstanding that can only be compared to those of the greatest individual athletes of all time such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, tennis player Roger Federer or Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci.
“I never thought I could not be beat. Once you are at the top of the mountain it is awesome. But staying on top of that mountain is harder than the original climb up the mountain,” she said.
In the South Korean capital, she claimed a staggering 12 gold medals, easily breaking the previous record of 10 set by Italian Maria Scutti at the first Paralympics in Rome, in 1960.
Zorn would end up retiring with a glittering 41 golds, nine silvers and five bronze. Nordic skier and ice sledge racer Ragnhild Myklebust is a distant second on the all-time list with with 27 medals overall. The Norwegian sealed 22 golds, three silvers and two bronze between 1988 and 2002.