41260-Amanda Lowry photo

Amanda Lowry



Impairment information

Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Partner Gemma, daughters Ziggy and Lola.
Tauranga, NZL
Athlete, Consultant
Higher education
Waikato University: New Zealand

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She swum competitively as a child, and returned to the pool after recovering from her surfing accident.
Why this sport?
She feels free in the water. "The water is still my sanctuary. In the water I am whole. I get to engage with all of me, I do a turn and I see my feet, and my legs, feel the power in my arms. I breathe. And I'm weightless and free, no one is touching me, it is quiet in the water. I am grateful."
Name of coach
Mike Lee
Training Regime
She swims five days a week, and says her work in the pool has helped some sensation return to her entire body.

General interest

Wheelchair rugby, cooking, hanging out with family, reading, watching her kids play sport, driving, mentoring and teaching. (, 01 Sep 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I'm just trying to live my life to the fullest capacity that I can. When people tell me I'm inspirational, they tell me I'm inspirational [when they see me] at a shop. Why? Because I'm actually out of my house and doing stuff? Dude, like seriously, how else am I going to be a mum?" (, 19 May 2018)
Awards and honours

To win gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 19 May 2018)
In 2013 she dived off her surfboard and broke her neck on a sandbar, resulting in tetraplegia. She has limited use of her arms and hands and is paralysed below her armpits. (, 19 May 2018)
Other information
She says that there has never been a New Zealand Para swimmer with her level of impairment, meaning her training for the 2020 Paralympic Games is new territory for both her national association and her coaches. "Because there has never been a New Zealand swimmer with my level of impairment nobody is quite sure about how to train me, and I wouldn't have a clue! So at the moment we are just going hard, pushing my body to see what is possible. I'm knackered, but I'm getting stronger, and going faster, so something must be working. Other than the hope of winning, I am excited about the pathways that we are making for other highly impaired swimmers, Paralympics [New Zealand] is learning, [my] coaches are learning, and I am learning. What is super cool is that I will be 48 at the 2020 [Paralympics] - the oldest rookie in history." (Facebook page, 19 Jan 2019;, 19 May 2018)

She has a master's degree in social science from Waikato University. She is also a former chef, having run a cafe in Whakatane, New Zealand, from 1992 to 2002. (, 20 Sep 2017;, 19 May 2018)