Wednesday is a big night for Evansville native Mikaela Jenkins as she takes on her first Paralympic race.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines set by the Tokyo Paralympics, her family was unable to join her in Tokyo, so they're rooting her on 6 thousand miles away in Evansville.
Weeks after the Tokyo Olympic games ended, the Paralympic games are underway and this year the City of Evansville is proud to send one of their very own.
Taking on her first Paralympic race competing in the Women's 100 Meter Breaststroke, Jenkins parents Jennifer and Joe, say her journey to get there is a huge accomplishment alone.
"She has given up a lot in order to be at this moment," said Jenkins. "My husband said, you know, being apart of the Paralympics is not an accident and I think that's true, everybody that is there has worked so hard to get there and including Mikaela, so yeah she's there because she's worked for it."
A cozier way to celebrate, the Jenkins family welcomed 44 News into their home as they hosted a family watch night to show their support and cheer her and the rest of the USA team on.
The Jenkins family said her perseverance, hard work and determination is what landed her a spot on the team.
Which is why they are more than a little excited to call her a Paralympian.