Imagen
36274-Andreas Ernhofer photo

Andreas Ernhofer

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
S4, SB3, SM4

Further personal information

Residence
Deutsch-Wagram, AUT
Languages
English, German

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport in 2016 in Vienna, Austria.
Why this sport?
He played wheelchair rugby after his accident, and then took up Para swimming following an introduction to the sport from Para swimmer Sabine Weber-Treiber. "I was allowed to watch her train a few times during my first rehab and immediately got on well with the coach. He then wanted to recruit me for swimming, but we agreed that I would finish my school leaving examination first. My life was very stressful at that point, as I really wanted to make up for the lost semester at school. In the summer of 2016, after graduating from high school, I got in touch with him again and was allowed to start training the next season."
Club / Team
BSV Weisser Hof: Austria
Name of coach
Gerhard Pukl [personal], AUT; Stefan Ernhofer [personal, cousin], AUT

International debut

Year
2017
Competing for
Austria

General interest

Nicknames
Andi (meinbezirk.at, 15 Mar 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning bronze in the SB3 50m breaststroke at the European championships in both 2018 and 2021. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)
Most influential person in career
Coach [and his cousin] Stefan Ernhofer. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)
Hero / Idol
His brother Michael Ernhofer. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I love being the best." (Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)
Awards and honours
In 2019 he was named Athlete of the Year in Lower Austria for the Para sport category. (oepc.at, 25 Feb 2020)
Other sports
He won three national championships in wheelchair rugby. (ernhofer.at, 15 Apr 2020; Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (oepc.at, 25 Feb 2020; Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)
Impairment
In 2014 he fractured three cervical vertebrae in his neck after diving into water. His injuries resulted in quadriplegia. "I couldn't move or feel anything. The first words I heard from the doctor after the emergency surgery were, 'You will never be able to move or feel your arms and legs again.' Thankfully I didn't take it seriously and I managed to fight back to life with the support of friends and family." (Facebook page, 16 Aug 2020; oepc.at, 25 Feb 2020; Athlete, 10 Sep 2019)
Other information
OCCUPATION
He works for the Federal Ministry of Defence of Austria and is also a volunteer firefighter. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)

EDUCATION
He studied medical informatics at Vienna University of Technology in Austria. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2021)