For many people, the draw of the Super Bowl isn’t the game itself, but the commercials. Each year, companies pay millions of dollars to have their ads featured during the big game, in the hope of getting attention from the hundreds of millions of people watching. This year, there was one ad in particular that has gotten people talking: the story of Paralympic champion Jessica Long.
Toyota, which sponsors the Paralympic Games, titled the ad “Upstream.” Interspersed between shots of Long swimming through images of her life was audio from an adoption specialist who calls with what she frames as bad news for Long’s mother. “Mrs. Long? We’ve found a baby girl for your adoption, but there’s some things you need to know,” she begins. “She was born with a rare condition. Her legs will need to be amputated… her life, it won’t be easy.”
Yet Long’s mother wasn’t dissuaded. As Long watched from the water, her mother responded, “It might not be easy, but it’ll be amazing. I can’t wait to meet her!” Long grins, and then swims away, with a tagline reading, “We believe there is hope and strength in all of us.”
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