My journey towards competing at the Paralympics began in 2011 after receiving two gold medals at a state level primary school competition.
From there, my swimming dream began.
Over the past 8 years, I have attended multiple open national and national age swimming competitions as well as competing in the South Australian Long Course and Short Course Swimming Championships.
Currently I hold 12 State Short Course records and 10 Long Course State records as a multiclass athlete competing in the S6 category. It is always my ambition to use every opportunity during competition to break my existing records and create new ones.
Two years ago I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent Australia and compete at the 2017 World Dwarf Games, held in Canada. This was where I was able to experience swimming against people who all had the same disability as I did. Competing in 4 individual events; the 50m freestyle and breastroke, 100m breastroke and 200m individual medley and two team relays, am proud to say that I bought home gold in every single event and set 4 new swimming records. These experiences have led to my biggest goal yet; the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
In order to make the qualification standard for Paralympic trials, I need to attend numerous competitions before trials next year in order to continue to see improvements. This will include State short course and long course, Victorian State Championships and Australian National Championships, This will require me to travel interstate for numerous competitions. This is for training with other Australian Swimming Team members ‘Dolphins’ as well as my coach Grant Muller to come, learning from the best Australian Para coaches and helping me to be the best I can possibly be as well as being that rock and support that I will need throughout these competitions.
- WINNIE MRDJEN
- Jo Wilkins
Port Lincoln, SA