SwimmingAnastasia Pagonis, World Championship Medals Visit Discovery Cove

Anastasia Pagonis, World Championship Medals Visit Discovery Cove

Anastasia Pagonis, World Championship Medals Take Visit to Discovery Cove

Anastasia Pagonis, the American Paralympic gold medalist, visited Discovery Cove in Orlando recently with her three medals from the 2022 Para Swimming World Championships.

Pagonis, 18, swims in the S11 category. She won the women’s S11 100 free and 400 free and SM11 200 individual medley at the recent Worlds in Madeira, Portugal. The Long Island native, with her family, visited the park and posed for pictures with the animals.

Anastasia Pagonis; Photo Courtesy: Sea World/Discovery Cove

Pagonis, who is visually impaired, began swimming at age 12 after she began losing her vision. She was able at Discovery Cove to swim with sharks and dolphins as well as meet other aquatic creatures up close.

“The bond and connection I felt with the animals was stronger at Discovery Cove, thanks to the heightened, one-on-one interaction they were able to provide me as a visually impaired person,” Pagonis in a press release. “It offered some incredible moments, and something extra special I’m thankful I was able to enjoy.”

Pagonis was one of the American stars of the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021. She won gold in the S11 400 free and bronze in the 200 IM. She was also fourth in the 100 free and seventh in the 50 free, all at the age of 17. She set a world record in the 400 free at American trials in 2021, then lowered it at the Paralympics in Tokyo.

The meet in Madeira was her first World Championships. She also won a pair of events at the World Para Swimming Series.

Pagonis, in addition to being an elite Paralympian and an ambassador for her sport, also is a TikTok star. She has 2.4 million followers on the app.

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