Although blinded by retinoblastoma at the age of three, she has succeeded in competitive swimming despite her disability. Competing at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, Australia, Tuomela earned a silver medal in the 50-metre freestyle as well as three sixth-place finishes in the 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter medley.
Her accomplishments merited an invitation to the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, where she placed fourth in the 50-meter freestyle and had two sixth-place finishes in the 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke. Tuomela also set five Canadian records in swimming. She won two gold medals in May, 2006 at the Belgian Paralympic Championships in the 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter backstroke. She also took the silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke. During this time, Jessica was coached by world renown and Olympic coach, Bill Park. Tuomela currently resides in Scotland pursuing post-secondary activities.
In 1998 Tuomela was one of 35 young people from North America and Russia to win the "Yes I Can" award, which recognizes the accomplishments of people with disabilities. She was honored in Sault Ste. Marie in 1992 for her academic achievements. On September 30, 2006 Tuomela became one of the first ten inductees in the Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame.
- Swimming Canada news story on Jessica Tuomela
- Sootoday.com news story on Jessica Tuomela
- Sootoday.com news story on Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame inductees
- Jessica Tuomela's profile on paralympic.org
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