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This is my story from paralysis to Paralympic champion. If it inspires you please leave a like & comment, and share it with anyone you think would benefit from seeing it , thank you. - Jamal J. Hill

 

b.1995

Los Angeles, CA

 

Coach

Wilma Wong

 

swim teams/Universities

Trojan Elite, University of Southern California (USC)

Hiram College Terriers

Golden Rebels Elite, Golden Road Brewery

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Jamal Hill was only 10 years old when his body started to fail him. He experienced total paralysis and doctors considered amputating his right arm. The diagnosis: Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) - a hereditary neurological condition that can result in progressive loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation in the body. 

CMT threatened to alter Jamal’s entire life, including his passion for swimming. But through sheer will, faith and determination Jamal has not only, over the years, regained his mobility, he is at the top of his game as a competitive swimmer. Today, at 24, the Los Angeles native is ranked number one in the US Paralympic 100 Free and number 22 in the world! As a result, he hopes to head to Tokyo next year as a member of the 2020 US Paralympic Swim Team to bring home the gold. 

Jamal developed a love for swimming through a local YMCA “Mommy & Me” swim class. It was evident that Jamal was a natural born swimmer. After his paralysis and recovery at age 10, his parents encouraged him to   use CMT as an opportunity to overcome challenges and inspire others.

Jamal pushed through the pain and fear of being seen and treated differently and swam competitively in high school, receiving a swimming scholarship to Hiram College in Northeast Ohio. In three years, Jamal left Ohio to train under the University of Southern California’s Dave Salo and USC’s prestigious Trojan Elite Swim Team.

Jamal, who trains 14 hours every week, is now working with mental performance coach and swim consultant Wilma Wong. Jamal credits her innovative training style and techniques with improving his standing from unranked amateur to number one in the nation within one year.

Jamal’s passion for swimming extends well beyond his personal and professional goals for Tokyo 2020. The latest statistics from the World Health Organization show that roughly 360,000 people lost their lives to drowning in 2016. In the US, drowning ranks fifth among the causes of unintentional injury death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an attempt to lower the global drowning rate, Jamal recently began an initiative to teach One Million people to swim through private trainings, sponsors and a digital swim school platform. This movement is Swim Up Hill.

Jamal also uses his experiences with CMT as an opportunity to offer strategies on how to reach goals and live out dreams. In addition, he is dispelling myths around disability performance - and what that looks like. His story is not only empowering and inspiring, it is just beginning. 

Follow Swim Up Hill on Instagram, @swimuphill

 

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Titles

 
 

2019

British Para-Swimming International 2019/WPS, GLA

Mens s1o 100m freestyle,3rd

mens s10 50m freestyle, 2nd

Indianapolis 2019 WPS World Series

Mens s10 100m freestyle,2nd

mens s10 1oom backstroke, 2nd

mens s10 100m breast, 3rd

mens s10 50m freestyle, 3rd

 

2018

U.S.A.Paralympic National Championships, AZ

MEns s9 50m butterfly, 1st

Mens s9 50m freestyle, 1st

mens s9 100m freestyle, 1st

mens multi-class 400m freestyle relay, 1st

mens S9 100m Backstroke, 2nd

California Classic Invitational

MEns s9 50m freestyle, 1st

Mens s9 50m breaststroke, 1st

mens s9 50m backstroke, 1st

mens S9 100m freestyle, 2nd

 

 

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Stats

 
 

Personal Best times

50M Freestyle, 00:26.64

100M Freestyle, 00:58.53

 

National para-swimming ranking

Mens S10 100M Freestyle, #1

Mens S10 50M Freestyle, #2

 

global para-swimming ranking

Mens S10 50M Freestyle, #18

Mens S10 100M Freestyle, #22

Jamal won his first championship title at age 23 in 2018. It had been his first time traveling outside California for a national competition. Seeing a city like Phoenixfor the first time, and competing with other talented swimmers, motivated him to accelerate his physical and mental training to the next level. 

Working with his coach, Wilma Wong, and practicing at night, Jamal delivered a jaw-dropping performance that won 1st place in the 4x100 relay against the Canadian National Team. 

At the same time, new classification regulations in World Para Swimming, moved Jamal from S9 to S10. (There are 13 sport classes, numbered one to 10 for athletes with physical impairment. The lower the number, the more severe activity limitation.) As a result, Jamal is now among the top 25 swimmers in the world.

Despite increasingly heightened competition, Jamal continues to bring his unique talents and vision to the pool. During his performance at the Indianapolis leg of the WPS World Series in 2019, he gracefully executed a 100-meter backstroke besting his previous times by over 2 seconds. Jamal’s performance attracted media attention from the 124-year-old historic Indianapolis Recorder newspaper (article linked on home page).

At the 2019 Glasgow International World Series, Jamal took home one silver, one bronze and exceeded his personal best in three races. He closed his first international performance with high accolades from the Team USA coaching staff, and received an invitation to train at the Olympic Training Center base camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

By setting clear goals and experimenting with Coach Wong, the duo have been able to develop an unorthodox but effective training style to help Jamal climb into the 50- and 100-meter freestyle top 10 rankings of the world -- a spot that hasn’t been held by an American S10 athlete in nearly a decade. 

In the meantime, Jamal was just named to the US Team competing in the international sports event for athletes with disabilities, the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, August of 2019.