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LOW Vanessa
Sport Para athletics
NPC Australia   
Place of BirthRatzeburg, FRG
Height1.74 m
Weight 54 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Further Personal Information
Athlete, Public Speaker
German, Swedish, English
Higher education
Media Production - RTL Group: Cologne, GER
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up athletics in 2008 at the Schleswig-Holstein Regional Performance Centre in Ratzeburg, Germany where she borrowed some sports prostheses, which got her started as a para-athlete. She decided to drop out of school in 12th grade and move to Leverkusen, Germany, where she was offered the opportunity to train with former German Olympic javelin thrower Steffi Nerius at the TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen club.
Why this sport?
She was inspired by US para-athlete Cameron Clapp. She also wanted to continue playing sport after her accident.
Club / Team
TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Germany
Name of coach
Willi Gernemann [national]; Roderick Green [personal], USA, from 2013; Siegfried Stark [personal], GER, from 2016
Senior International Debut
Competing for
World Games
Bengaluru, IND
General Interest
Watching movies, painting her nails. (, 11 Mar 2015; 24 Sep 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning her first gold medal at a world championships in 2015 in Doha, Qatar. (, 04 May 2016)
Hero / Idol
US sprinter Carl Lewis. (, 10 May 2015)
In June 2016 she suffered from a back injury while competing at the European Championships in Grosseto, Italy. (, 11 Jun 2016)

She broke her elbow in 2009. The injury kept her out of action for three months. (Athlete, 04 Apr 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Win and forget, lose and forget." (, 12 Jan 2015)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2016 Sportswoman with an Impairment of the Year by the National Paralympic Committee of Germany. (, 29 Nov 2016)

She received the 2009 Athlete of the Year award in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. (Athlete, 09 Feb 2011)
Other sports
She practised ballet dancing for eight years before her accident. (, 24 Sep 2015)
In June 2006 she was run over by a train at a railway crossing. Her left leg was severed and she was in a coma for two months. To save her life, doctors also had to amputate her right leg. (, 16 Nov 2010)
Other information
She began competing for Australia in February 2019, having previously represented Germany. (IPC, 15 Feb 2019)

She retired from competitive para-athletics after participating at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. In 2013 she visited her friend, German Paralympian Katrin Green, in the United States of America, and it was there where she rediscovered her love for the sport. She lived and trained in Oklahoma City, OK, for three years until mid-2016 when she returned to Germany due to her visa becoming invalid. (, 24 Sep 2015; 11 May 2016)

She has the latitude and longitude coordinates of four cities tattooed on her right arm, including the three cities where the para-athletics world championships were held between 2011-2015 [Christchurch, Lyon and Doha]. She also has the coordinates for Bangalore, India, due to her having made her international debut there at the 2009 World Games. (Facebook page, 30 Dec 2015)

She has studied a long distance degree in digital media. (, 11 Mar 2015)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
6 2012 Long Jump T42/44 3.93
4 2012 100m T42 16.78
1 2016 Long Jump T42 4.93
2 2016 100m T42 15.17
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
4 2011 Long Jump F42 3.47
3 2011 100m T42 17.43
3 2013 Long Jump T42 3.85
3 2013 100m T42 17.18
1 2015 Long Jump T42 4.79
2 2015 100m T42 15.41
European Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
2 2014 100m T42 16.50
1 2014 Long Jump T42 4.24
1 2016 Long Jump T42-44 4.71
2 2016 100m T42 16.29