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30495-Caleb Swanepoel photo

Caleb Swanepoel

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
S9, SB8, SM9

Further personal information

Residence
Prince Albert, RSA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Performing Arts - University of Cape Town: South Africa

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming just before he lost his right leg in 2015.
Why this sport?
"I continued with the [swim] training as my main form of exercise [after the amputation]."

General interest

Most influential person in career
His family, lecturers and friends. (timeslive.co.za, 05 Apr 2019)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Michael Phelps. (mpsamag.com, 01 Mar 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Make the most each day and try to focus on one day at time. You cannot keep living in the future and worrying about what might be." (mpsamag.com, 01 Mar 2016)
Other sports
He won a sailing race at the 2018 International Boat Show in Cape Town, South Africa. He also competed in adaptive surfing at the 2017 World Championships in California, United States of America. (iol.co.za, 23 Oct 2018; Facebook page, 24 Nov 2017)
Ambitions
To compete in adaptive surfing at the 2019 World Championships and Para swimming at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (iol.co.za, 05 Apr 2019; timeslive.co.za, 05 Apr 2019)
Impairment
In June 2015 his right leg was amputated above the knee after he was attacked by a great white shark while bodysurfing in Buffalo Bay, South Africa. (news.uct.ac.za, 05 Apr 2019)
Other information
SHARK ATTACK
In June 2015 his right leg was amputated above the knee after he was attacked by a great white shark while bodysurfing in Buffalo Bay, South Africa. It took 15 minutes until the rescuer came while he was losing blood, but the surgeon made a remark that there had been a miraculous response from his body, where his femoral artery had clotted and gone into spasm, closing the bleeding off. He was back in the water three weeks after the attack. "I didn't know which section of my body the shark had. I was just being pulled and shaken around. And then I was trying to come up for air. It's such a scary moment. There's such fear. No one should ever experience that. It was such an out-of-body experience. My brother managed to get me towards the beach and I literally fell into my mum's arms. After I got the prosthetic leg it was really crazy. I had to learn to balance and figure out walking. There is so much we take for granted. Our bodies are incredible." (news.uct.ac.za, 05 Apr 2019; heraldlive.co.za, 05 Dec 2016; mpsamag.com, 01 Mar 2016)

ACTING PLANS
In April 2019 he graduated from the University of Cape Town with a degree in performing arts. He aspires to perform on the Shakespeare circuit in London, England. "My family told me I always liked attention. There's some truth to that. I love making a fool of myself. I'm a bit of a clown. I don't always have to be someone with one leg." (news.uct.ac.za, 05 Apr 2019)