Medallist needs limbs that stand the pace
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.