I was born in Russia-- Irkutsk, Siberia actually-- without proper bone structure in my lower legs. I didn't have fibulas, ankles, heels or most of the other bones in my feet. I lived in an orphanage until my parents adopted me and brought me to the U.S. When I was 18 months old, both of my legs were amputated below the knees. I was fitted with prosthetic legs and my parents tell me I learned to walk within a few weeks.
I feel very thankful to have come all the way to America from a Russian orphanage. God has given me many opportunities and I know He still has more planned for me in the future. I hope those plans include me going to Beijing in 2008 for the paralympics. I want to compete in six events and bring home six more gold medals. For now, Jonas has made specially designed running legs for me, so I can play basketball and compete in triathlons.