41813-Aimee Copeland photo

Aimee Copeland



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
S5, SB4, SM5

Further personal information

Atlanta, GA, USA
Athlete, Counsellor, Motivational Speaker, Social Worker
Higher education
Psychology - University of Georgia: United States

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She learnt to swim as a young child and enjoyed swimming growing up. She took up Para swimming in 2016, and swam in her first competition in 2018 at the Fred Lamback Disability Swim Meet in Augusta, GA, United States of America.
Why this sport?
A friend encouraged her to try swimming again. She was then noticed by coach Keith Berryhill at the Windy Hill Athletic Club in Marietta, GA, who encouraged her to start competing. "A friend of mine invited me to come hang out at her pool and I instantly fell in love with it. I was a runner, but I can't run now. So this is the form of cardio that gives me the best exercise. I'm definitely learning how to be a competitive person. I never did any kind of competitive sports before."
Name of coach
Keith Berryhill [personal], USA, from 2017
Training Regime
She swims four days a week at the Windy Hill Athletic Club in Marietta, GA, United States of America.

General interest

Advocating for people with impairments, music, kayaking, cooking, spending time with her dog, academic research. (YouTube, 11 Oct 2018; Facebook page, 08 Apr 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The obstacle is the path." (, 21 Apr 2017;, 04 Aug 2017)
In 2012 she contracted an infection after suffering a laceration on her calf when a zip line she was riding broke and she fell to the ground. A couple of days after the incident doctors diagnosed necrotizing fasciitis [flesh eating bacteria] and to save her life they had to amputate her left leg, right foot and both hands. (, 29 Oct 2016;, 23 Nov 2018;, 22 Jan 2019; Twitter profile, 26 Feb 2019)
Other information
In 2017 she created the Aimee Copeland Foundation, a non-profit foundation that provides mental health services and therapeutic programmes to people living with impairments in Atlanta, GA, United States of America. "Since the accident, I have relearned how to connect with nature. I bike, swim, kayak and lay in the grass – just like I used to. Reconnecting with the outdoors has been an essential component to my physical, mental and spiritual recovery. And developing a safe space that promotes healing, while providing accessible outdoor environments, has become my passion and my goal. To do this, I created the Aimee Copeland Foundation." (, 22 Jan 2019;, 01 Apr 2019)

After completing a bachelor of science in psychology at the University of Georgia, she went on to complete a master of arts in psychology at the University of West Georgia, and a master of social work at Valdosta State University. (, 22 Jan 2019;, 19 Mar 2018)