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Toyota Super Bowl ad highlights Paralympian's journey from orphan to champion

Toyota is focused on pulling at the heartstrings in this year's Super Bowl entry by following the journey of Jessica Long.

You won't see a single car, truck, minivan or SUV in Toyota's Super Bowl LV ad. Instead, the automaker is doing what many other companies are doing for this year's game: pulling at the heartstrings.

Toyota's spot looks ahead to the Olympics and Paralympics, although both again face potential postponement as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. Its ad showcases 13-time gold medal Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long's journey from an orphan in Siberia to a Paralympian.

"The 60-second spot features Long swimming through milestone scenes over the course of her life, starting with a depiction of the Russian orphanage from which she was adopted," Toyota says in its description. "The camera then cuts to her parents (played by actors) receiving the emotional call that they would be adopting a baby girl, but with the news that her legs would need to be amputated due to a rare condition.

"The scenes following show a young swimmer depicting Jessica, hands on hips ready to compete, knowing she’s different from other children, yet remaining resilient," the description says. "The spot continues with Jessica competing in her quest to greatness, overcoming all obstacles as she becomes a Paralympic legend."

It ends with the line, “We believe there is hope and strength in all of us."

“I love that the spot highlights not just the gold medals and accomplishments but the challenging journey to get there,” Long said in a statement.

The ad will air before the 2-minute warning of the first half.

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Credit: AP
Jessica Long of the United States celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 100m Butterfly S8 category, during the medal ceremony at the 2012 Paralympics, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)