A new commercial highlights the incredible journey of swimmer Jessica Long, the second-most decorated Paralympian in U.S. history.
The Toyota ad, which will officially debut during Sunday's Super Bowl, shows Long swimming through depicted scenes of her life, including the moment her mother got the call that a baby was waiting for her in a Siberian orphanage. That baby was Long, who was born in Russia with a rare condition that would require her legs to be amputated below the knee when she was 18 months old.
"Her life, it won't be easy," a woman on the phone tells Long's mother in the commercial.
"It might not be easy, but it'll be amazing," her mother replies, as Long swims up to the kitchen where her adoptive parents sit.
Long, 28, spoke to Weekend TODAY in 2019 about not letting her disability get in the way of chasing her dreams.
"I knew I didn't look like the other kids, but I never wanted the fact that I didn't have legs to hold me back," she said.
At a young age, she discovered that the swimming pool was a place she could excel.
"I always loved the water," she said. "It's a place I can just take off these heavy prosthetics and just jump in the water and feel no different. I can move in a way I can't always on land."
The swimmer, who was adopted by a family in Baltimore when she was 13 months old, is currently training for the upcoming Paralympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo in August after being delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will be Long's fifth time competing in the Paralympics, having already won 23 medals, including 13 golds.
Toyota's minutelong ad aims to show that "there is hope and strength in all of us."
Last week Long told USA Today that seeing the commercial brought her to tears, calling it "overwhelming, in the best way."
"I’m so excited for everyone to see it, and kind of get the full story," she said. "Not just the gold medalist Jessica Long, but where it started, in that Russian orphanage."