29 January 1984 |
Cape Town, South Africa
|Strokes||Butterfly, backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke|
My message is not just to disabled people, but to everyone: You have to work hard.
Back in my mind, I never, ever wanted to give up swimming; it was something that I would carry on with.
Even when bad things happen you have to try to use those bad things in a positive manner and really just take the positive out of it.
Qualifying for the Olympic Games was one of those moments where you just cry because it was like you've climbed Mount Everest.
You have to work hard for what you want to achieve and you have to set goals and dreams and really go for them.
I've been lucky enough to travel the world and win awards and medals, but it was time to stop.
It's been a dream for me since I was six years old to go to the Olympic Games and to finally have that dream realised is something massive for me.
When you are racing in an able-bodied competition, you're all equal and you go out there and try your best, and that's what counts.
The situation in disability sport is growing, and girls like Ellie Cole are doing wonders.
It is wonderful to say that your days behind a school desk are over. It's just another phase in your life.
It doesn't matter if you look different. You're still the same as everybody else because you have the same dream.
I say, 'If I'm able to go out there and achieve a dream, then anybody can do it.'
I have always had a dream to take part in an Olympic Games, and losing my leg didn't change anything.
Going out there in the water, it feels as if there's nothing wrong with me.
My parents gave me a boxer puppy as a present. I have wanted a dog for years and must first give her attention in the morning.
I have a strong upper body; I'm an arms swimmer, and I always have been.