Andrew Arnold

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired

Further personal information

Family
Fiancee
Residence
United States
Occupation
Teacher
Higher education
Music Studies - Gordon College: United States

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He has been swimming competitively since his first year of high school, and returned to the sport following rehabilitation from his 2008 accident.
Why this sport?
He enjoyed competitive swimming prior to his accident. He considers para-swimming beneficial to him both socially and physically. "I’m doing it because it’s the closest thing I can do to what I’ve done before."

General interest

Hobbies
Taking part in wheelchair racing, triathlon, and Iron Man events. (tartan.gordon.edu, 07 Dec 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto
“I’m working my handicap into my life. I’m not working my life into my handicap." (tartan.gordon.edu, 07 Dec 2011)
Other sports
He set university records at Gordon College as an able-bodied swimmer prior to his accident. (tartan.gordon.edu, 07 Dec 2011)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (tartan.gordon.edu, 07 Dec 2011)
Impairment
While on a camping trip with his university in 2008 he fell 40 feet from a tree, resulting in paralysis. He was originally told he had less than a 2% chance of walking again, but he is now able to walk again with a cane. He had two titanium bars set along either side of his spine, with four stabilising hooks. (tartan.gordon.edu, 07 Dec 2011)
Other information
WALKING AGAIN
He was on a camping trip with his university in 2008 when, during free time, he decided to climb a tree to read. He was an experienced rock climber, and climbed the tree to a height of 40 feet. But he fell asleep in the tree, and says he woke up as he was falling. "I had no fear or nervousness, really. I just thought to myself, ‘Ok, I broke my back'. I knew I had my mind. I knew I had my arms. So I was immediately grateful." After doctors told him he had only a 2% chance of being able to walk again, he became determined to prove them wrong. "I immediately thought, ‘You’re wrong'. People tell me that they admire me for my determination, but I was just being stubborn." (tartan.gordon.edu, 07 Dec 2011)