“I fi­nally have some­thing to fight for”

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - COMMONWEALTH GAMES -

changed all that. I had to have in­va­sive surgery and while I was stuck in bed, watch­ing the Games on TV, some­thing just clicked. I said to my­self ‘What am I do­ing?’ I had full use of my up­per body but wasn’t mak­ing the most of it, so I de­cided that if I re­cov­ered well, I’d do some­thing to bet­ter my­self. I Googled ‘ex­treme en­durance paras­port’ and read about Aussie para­triath­lete Bill Chaf­fey. I didn’t know much about para­triathlon, but I knew I had to do it!

I got the all-clear and con­tacted Triathlon Queens­land, then joined a swim squad two days later.

I’ve been in the sport for al­most six years now, and be­ing se­lected for the Games made it hit home how many peo­ple have helped me – teach­ing me how to use my hand cy­cle and how to be com­fort­able in the wa­ter. Hope­fully those peo­ple will see me at the Games and know their help got me here.

Al­though I made it to the 2016 Rio Par­a­lympics – and ex­ceeded my ex­pec­ta­tions by fin­ish­ing ninth – I didn’t feel like I’d done enough or fought for a medal, so I reached out to a new coach and fo­cused on get­ting the best out of my­self.

I’m ready to fight for a medal now and feel like I’ve achieved my pur­pose. I was born on the Gold Coast, so it will be spe­cial to put on the green and gold shirt at these Games. Plus my par­ents will be there and my mates will be able to watch me race.

When I think about ev­ery­thing that’s played out since my dis­abil­ity, I can see how eas­ily all of this might not have hap­pened. Hope­fully I can make ev­ery­one proud.”

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