Medal­list needs limbs that stand the pace

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

Get­ting new legs is a yearly busi­ness for Par­a­lympic swim­mer and gold medal­list Cameron Les­lie.

Cameron re­cently vis­ited the Auck­land Ar­ti­fi­cial Limb Cen­tre to get new ar­tifi legs which have hy­draulic knees that bend as he walks.

The limbs will re­place the ones with black sock­ets and a sil­ver fern which he wore in Bei­jing, where he broke a world swim­ming record.

The 18-year-old says his achieve­ments at the Games haven’t sunk in yet, but he is en­joy­ing a break from the pool.

“All the peo­ple who had been to the Par­a­lympics be­fore said to make sure you take a big break when you get back.

“It takes so much out of you.”

He wasn’t al­lowed to wear any ar­ti­fi­cial limbs while com­pet­ing and says the ef­fort was de­mand­ing.

Cameron’s next chal­lenge is wheel­chair rugby, which he hopes to com­pete in at the next Par­a­lympic Games.

Clin­i­cal pros­thetist Vaughan Beesley says Cameron, who was born with par­tially de­vel­oped limbs, has been com­ing to the cen­tre since he was a year old.

The car­bon fi­bre sock­ets use suc­tion to keep the limbs in place and the limbs are spe­cially de­signed to han­dle Cameron’s ac­tive life­style, says Mr Beesley.

A stu­dent at the Auck­land Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, he does a lot of walk­ing and climb­ing stairs and has his ar­ti­fi­cial legs on all day.

“He drives his own car,” he says.

“He loves swim­ming and has just im­proved and im­proved.

“He does very well,” says Mr Beesley.

Trad­ing up: Par­a­lympic swim champ Cameron Les­lie dis­cusses legs with clin­i­cal pros­thetist Vaughan Beesley.

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