Paralympian from Cal Lutheran wins big

Returning to CLU on Monday, Sept. 10, Cortney Jordan came back from the 2012 Paralympics with four medals and a rare experience that only she can describe.

The Las Vegas native was born with cerebral palsy and as a result, she has a weaker and shorter left side. Severe back pain and a limp when she walks are only a few complications she has had to deal with growing up. In an effort to help refine motor skills, her physical therapist recommended she try swimming.

At 7-years-old she joined her first club team and has been in love ever since.

With such a deep compassion for the sport, it was difficult for Jordan to come to the realization that she could not compete with other able-bodied swimmers.

However, in 2004, Jordan competed in her first paralympic event, which was the start of a victorious career.

Focusing on swimming and competing in events all around the world, in 2008 Jordan made her way to Beijing for her first Paralympics to represent Team USA. She competed in six events and returned home with four medals, including a gold in the 50-meter freestyle.

After so much success in Beijing, Jordan immediately set her sights on London and the 2012 games. Despite a full college workload and competing for the CLU swim team, Jordan was still able to train and keep her focus on qualifying for the 2012 Paralympics.

Entering her second Paralympics, Jordan was elected team captain. Being a veteran of the Olympic process she knew that she would be the one that younger athletes looked up to.

“It’s so wonderful, these athletes are the most incredible people you will ever meet,” said Jordan. “They inspire me everyday. It is the most fun and wonderful experience and I am glad to be the one they lean on.”

She once again competed in the 50-meter free, 100-meter free, 400-meter free, 100-meter backstroke, 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley.
With three silvers and a bronzem, Jordan competed like a team captain should. Jordan struggles to find which memory is her favorite.

“It’s hard to choose just one, but the first medal I won is probably my favorite. I wanted to get a medal, it didn’t matter what color,” said Jordan.

Jordan’s success and love for competition does not come without sacrifice. The Beijing games forced her to miss the first month of her senior year in high school and she has missed the first two weeks of what is now her senior year of college because of the London games.

“Its a sacrifice I’m willing to make,” said Jordan.

Jordan was also excited to receive the honor of being asked to escort a blind teammate to the white house to meet President Barack Obama.
The education major and CLU swim team captain is excited about her senior year and looking forward to finishing strong in her last two semesters.

Ty Olson
Staff Writer
Published Sept. 19, 2012