Imagen
11291-Elizabeth Smith photo

Elizabeth Smith

Swimming
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1

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S9, SB9, SM9

Further personal information

Residence
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
English
Higher education
Computing - DeVry University: Austin, TX, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She joined her first swim team at age seven in Muncie, IN, United States of America. She took up Para sport at age 11.
Why this sport?
She was inspired to try the sport after watching a television show about US Para swimmer Jessica Long. However, she did not initially enjoy the sport. "Fifteen minutes into my first practice, I quit. The following season my parents bribed me with pizza to give it another shot. I've been swimming ever since."
Club / Team
Western Hills Athletic Club: Austin, TX, USA
Name of coach
Ian Crocker [personal], USA, from 2018

General interest

Nicknames
Lizzi (Twitter profile, 20 Mar 2020)
Hobbies
Baking cakes. (spectrumlocalnews.com, 15 Jul 2021)
Most influential person in career
Her parents, her siblings [she is one of eight], and coach Ian Crocker. (myswimpro.com, 31 Mar 2020)
Hero / Idol
Spanish Para swimmer Sarai Gascon Moreno. (teamusa.org, 08 Jun 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Inclusion to me is like a swim meet. I show up on race day with my meticulously rehearsed race plan, a lane, and a goal. My competitors share the same goal - to be faster than they were yesterday. They don't know, care, or notice that I have a disability. I am my ability. All I need is the opportunity to see how fast I can go." (Instagram profile, 09 Mar 2021)
Impairment
She was born without her left forearm due to amniotic band syndrome. "Little fibroids got wrapped around my arm and cut off circulation. My parents didn't know before I was born that I was going to have one hand." (kvue.com, 09 Dec 2021; indystar.com, 04 Apr 2019; thestarpress.com, 01 Aug 2013)
Other information
BODY IMAGE POSITIVITY
For years she said she had felt insecure about her impairment, especially when appearing in photos, but over time she learned to accept it and not be concerned with other people's perceptions of her. "A fear that I've had ever since I can remember is that I make people uncomfortable with my limb difference. Countless times I've hid my body for people. I'm changing the narrative. Your stares and negative reactions make me uncomfortable. I'll work as hard as I can to do my part to make sure no more little kids see their limb difference represented through media as horror." (kvue.com, 09 Dec 2021; spectrumlocalnews.com, 15 Jul 2021; Instagram profile, 01 Dec 2020)

PROSTHETIC ARM
In 2019 she began using a prosthetic arm. "I got my first prosthetic arm in 2019 and that's been a huge game changer for upper body [training]. For the first time in my life when I got the arm, I was able to do pull-ups and push-ups. It's carbon fiber so you could run over it with a car and it won't break. The cool thing about it is I have interchangeable hands." (Inside with Brett Hawke YouTube channel, 31 Mar 2022; spectrumlocalnews.com, 15 Jul 2021)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She works as a youth swimming coach at the Western Hills Athletic Club in Austin, TX, United States of America. She has also worked as a freelance graphic designer, and has created cap designs for a swimming equipment company, as well as logos and web designs for her teammates. After her swimming career, she said she wants to focus on her design career and remain involved with swimming through coaching. "I really like working with the little kids. The ones that just started doing swim team, they're like five or six. It brings me back to being that age where I first fell in love with doing this." (kvue.com, 09 Dec 2021; wthr.com, 02 Sep 2021; Instagram profile, 09 Mar 2021; myswimpro.com, 31 Mar 2020; Austin American-Statesman YouTube channel, 17 Sep 2019; indystar.com, 04 Apr 2019)

NATIONWIDE TRIP
After competing in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she took a six-month trip through the United States of America, visiting 48 states and covering more than 50,000km, and ultimately decided to settle in Austin, Texas, in 2018. "There are a lot of circumstances that just don't go how you planned. I fell in love [with Austin]. What's cool about Austin is you're allowed and encouraged to be yourself, which is probably going to be weird. Sometimes I receive a little backlash where people will be like, 'Why?' The culture in Austin is not to do that. If people see you do something differently, they ask questions. You're encouraged, and when you're encouraged, you thrive." (Inside with Brett Hawke YouTube channel, 31 Mar 2022; statesman.com, 18 Sep 2019; indystar.com, 04 Apr 2019)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Freestyle S9 Heat 2 2013-08-12 11
Women's 50 m Freestyle S9 Heat 1 2013-08-13 10
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2013-08-15 3
Women's 100 m Butterfly S9 Final 1 2013-08-17 7
Women's 100 m Butterfly S9 Heat 1 2013-08-17 8
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2013-08-18 9999
Women's 100 m Backstroke S9 Final 1 2013-08-18 3
Women's 100 m Backstroke S9 Heat 2 2013-08-18 4
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Backstroke S9 Heat 2 2015-07-13 4
Women's 100 m Backstroke S9 Final 1 2015-07-13 5
Women's 100 m Freestyle S9 Heat 1 2015-07-14 7
Women's 100 m Freestyle S9 Final 1 2015-07-14 7
Women's 50 m Freestyle S9 Heat 1 2015-07-16 12
Women's 100 m Butterfly S9 Final 1 2015-07-17 5
Women's 100 m Butterfly S9 Heat 2 2015-07-17 2
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2015-07-19 4
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM9 Heat 2 2016-09-11 4
Women's 50 m Freestyle S9 Heat 1 2016-09-13 3
Women's 100 m Butterfly S9 Heat 3 2016-09-15 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S9 Final Round 2016-09-15 4
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 2016-09-15 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S9 Heat 3 2016-09-16 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S9 Final Round 2016-09-16 5
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final Round 2016-09-16 3