As a high school student in Villanova, Pennsylvania, Amanda Sheward was sure of two things: She wanted to go to college in Virginia, and she wanted to swim for her collegiate team.

Those goals achieved, the University of Mary Washington junior is on to her next challenge, and it’s a big one.

Sheward will represent the United States as a swimmer at the Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 17 – 26. Held every four years, the Parapan Games bring together elite athletes from North and South American countries for a multi-sport competition. The games are a precursor to the worldwide Paralympics taking place in Paris in summer 2024.

Sheward earned her spot on the U.S. team by excelling at the Citi Para Swimming World Series meet in Minneapolis last spring. She’s on the team of 19 women and 14 men, including former UMW assistant swimming coach Zach Shattuck, a 2020 Paralympian. Read more.