TOKYO, Japan — Hannah Aspden is adding to her Paralympic medal count, this time with a gold medal.
Aspden, a swimmer from Raleigh who attends Queens University of Charlottte, struck gold with a time of 1:09.22 in the women's 100-meter backstroke. The university reports she's the first Queens University athlete to ever win gold at either the Olympics or Paralympics, making history for the school.
This isn't Aspden's first time in the international spotlight, nor is this her first medal; the multimedia storytelling major first made a splash at the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016 two years before going to college, bringing home two bronze medals at the age of 16. She was the youngest U.S. swimmer to earn a medal in either the Olympics or Paralympics at that time.
Aspden has previously spoken to WCNC Charlotte about growing up in the water. She was born without her left leg, and found her passion with swimming at a young age.
In Tokyo, Aspden's passion proved itself. The official Twitter account for the Paraylmpic games captured the moment after Aspden had finished the race, looking back emotionally as she floated underneath the starting block.
Speaking to TeamUSA.org, Aspden said the moment "didn't feel real for a minute", saying she gave everything she had and had plenty of fun during the race.
Aspden isn't done just yet in Tokyo; she's on deck next for the 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke.
She placed sixth in her heat for women's 100-meter breaststroke SB8 on Aug. 25, third in her heat in the women's 100-meter freestyle S9 on Aug. 30, fourth in her heat for the women's 200-meter individual medley on Aug. 31.