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UC’s Lawrence Sapp to compete in Para-Swimming in Tokyo

Lawrence Sapp feels at home beside the pool where he trains in Lee District Park, Maryland. Sapp will compete with Team USA in Tokyo for the 2021 Paralympic games. The 19-year-old will compete in three events: 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter freestyle.  Jasper Colt-USA TODAY

Lawrence Sapp looked anxiously into the camera of his Zoom call.

The moment he was waiting for had been a long time coming. The moment he'd dreamt of since he first hit the pool with a summer swim club in 2005. The moment that would prove every team who failed to recognize his talent along the way wrong.

The moment he was deemed more than good enough, he was approaching great.

His muted microphone covered up the beat of his racing heart. His mother stood behind him with her phone ready to record the reaction of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic hopeful’s fate.

The moment was nothing like what the family may have imagined. Sapp had expected to see his first Paralympics in 2020 with his family cheering from the stands until COVID-19 put his long-awaited dream on hold.


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