EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - We have a 14 News update on an inspiring Tri State athlete.
Mikaela Jenkins is a 16-year-old Evansville Native who just returned with gold from the Para World Championship in London.
Jenkins says she didn’t think she would win her best event, the 100 meter butterfly.
“I felt really bad warming up that evening. I just felt slow and sluggish, and I was just like whatever going to play out, is going to play out,” said Jenkins.
She was fourth halfway through the race.
“I remember in the last 50 seeing her about a half a body length ahead of me, and I was like I’m going to have to pick this up or I’m going to lose,” said Jenkins. “I turned around, and I saw that my name was first,and I was like ‘Oh, Thank the Lord!’ and I was so happy.”
Jenkins not only won that gold medal, but two other silver medals in relays. With these medals decorating her neck, her sights are now set on Tokyo for the 2020 paralympics.
“That has been marked on my calendar, and I had a meeting with my coach just yesterday, and he was like, we have a year, and we’re going to work as hard you can until this year is done, and then you can have a month off,” said Jenkins.
As one of the youngest in the group, she says that gives her confidence going into the paralympics next year.
"The fact that I was still able to get first, being 16 against a bunch of 20-year-olds is really great, and it gives me a lot of hope for the future.”