|Type of Impairment
|Origin of Impairment
||S9, SB8, SM9
Further Personal Information
||Coaching, Exercise Science - University of Canberra: Australia
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||She learnt to swim at age three. She began competing in 2003.
|Why this sport?
||Her mother took her swimming as part of her rehabilitation following the amputation of her right leg. She participated in a number of sports at school, but she decided to focus on swimming as some of her teachers were reluctant for her to play team sports. "I think that's why I really enjoyed swimming: it was a sport where I could just get in there. I was representing myself and no one could take me out of it."
|Name of coach
||Simon Cusack [personal], from 2019
||Her sessions last for between four and six hours a day. "Usually, we are in the pool but we also mix up our sessions with weights, cardio and pilates."
||El (vis.org.au, 17 Dec 2009)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Being able to compete again after undergoing reconstruction surgery on both shoulders in 2013. (womenshealth.com.au, 19 Sep 2019)
|Hero / Idol
||Australian triathlete Emma Moffatt, South African Para swimmer Natalie du Toit. (paralympic.org.au, 28 Feb 2015, 01 Feb 2012)
||She fractured the fifth metatarsal in her left foot in 2017. The injury affected her training for three months. (sunshinecoastdaily.com.au, 22 Feb 2018)
In 2013 she underwent surgery on both of her shoulders. She returned to full fitness in August 2014. (paralympic.org, 28 Dec 2014; hillsnews.com.au, 13 Aug 2014)
She broke her ankle in 2002 and was out of action for four months. (Athlete, 29 Dec 2010)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"Better to get a sore neck from aiming too high than a hunchback from aiming too low." (performerawards.com.au, 18 Nov 2011)
|Awards and honours
||She was a co-recipient of the 2015 Golden Moment of the Year presented by Swimming Australia. The honour was in recognition of the three gold medals she won at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. (swimswam.com, 05 Sep 2015)
She was named the 2015 Sportswoman of the Year by the Australian edition of 'Cosmopolitan' magazine. (cosmopolitan.com.au, 18 Nov 2015)
She received the Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in 2014. (paralympic.org.au, 26 Jan 2014)
In August 2011 she was named Athlete of the Month by the International Paralympic Committee [IPC]. (swimming.org.au, 28 Nov 2013)
She received a sport achievement prize from the Australian Institute of Sport [AIS] in recognition of her performance at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (ausport.gov.au, 17 Dec 2009)
||She was diagnosed with cancer in her right leg at age two. The limb was amputated after chemotherapy was unsuccessful. (paralympic.org.au, 15 Jul 2010)
She featured in the 2020 documentary film 'Rising Phoenix', which focused on the Paralympic Games. "The first time I watched it, I was sitting there thinking these are just nine of thousands and thousands of athletes that have incredible stories. When I see a piece of work like this one, and especially something that a brand like Netflix is taking up, I think back to when I was nine or 10 years old and not knowing that Para sport even existed. I've seen the evolution to what it has become to the point where there's a Netflix documentary and that is something else. It makes me proud because I've seen it change so dramatically. I know what it used to be like. Seeing things for the first time was an out of body experience. The viewer will see and hear things about me for the first time, but I did too. And seeing them in a documentary setting that was made so well was so emotional. There's footage of my mum's reaction to me winning my first [Paralympic] gold medal in London. I've never seen that before. That was my sister's footage. Whenever I think about me swimming and my race and winning my first gold medal, I never ever thought about what happened to mum on the spectator side of things. So when I saw mum tearing up, it made me tear up. I made her proud." (paralympic.org, 18 Sep 2020)
She has studied exercise science at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, NSW, Australia. (dailytelegraph.com.au, 09 Aug 2015)