Local athlete takes bronze at Para-Pan American Games

Maple Valley’s Abbey Nardella already made her community proud by being accepted to compete at the Para-Pan American games in Peru. Now she’s made her country proud by earning the bronze medal in the 100-meter breast stroke for Team USA. Nardella swam in six events at the games.

Nardella, 16, goes to Tahoma High School and swims for multiple local teams. She was born with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism that affects the size of her legs and arms. She comes from an athletic family. The oldest daughter of three, her siblings enjoy rock climbing and soccer. Because of her condition, she has to be careful about the strain she puts on her skeletal system. She always wanted to be athletic, and her mother, Mindy Nardella, wanted a way for her to stay healthy. That’s when swimming came into play.

A few years after starting her athletic career, she was invited to swim competitively in Peru. The 2019 Parapan American Games is an international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities.

“I’m proud to announce our daughter … won the bronze medal,” John Paul Nardella posted on his Facebook. “This is her first medal in international competition. She swam six events gracefully representing her community and her country.”

Read more about Nardella here.

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