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21818-Lakeisha Patterson photo

Lakeisha Patterson

Swimming
2
3
1

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S9, SB8, SM9

Further personal information

Residence
Caboolture, QLD, AUS
Occupation
Athlete, Public Speaker, Student, Volunteer
Languages
English
Higher education
Architecture - University of Queensland: Brisbane, QLD, AUS

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age three.
Why this sport?
She took up the sport as a form of physical therapy in order to negate body stiffness issues associated with her condition. She was later inspired to begin competing after watching the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. "I saw all these amazing athletes compete who have already overcome so many obstacles in their life and they are absolutely smashing it."
Club / Team
Belgravia Swim Team: Australia
Name of coach
Harley Connelly [club]

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Australia

General interest

Nicknames
Lucky (caboolturenews.com.au, 05 Aug 2015; Facebook profile, 28 Jan 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a gold medal and establishing a new world record at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (commonwealthgames.com.au, 01 Jan 2017)
Most influential person in career
Her mother. "She sacrificed so much to ensure I was able to follow my dreams. We're saving hard at the moment and hoping she and possibly my sisters can get to Tokyo for the [2020] Paralympics." (futurestategreats.com.au, 22 Jun 2014; playersvoice.com.au, 11 Jul 2019)
Hero / Idol
US Para swimmer Jessica Long. (commonwealthgames.com.au, 01 Jan 2017)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
During competitions she wears a ring with the word 'luck' on it. (commonwealthgames.com.au, 01 Jan 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"[Growing up] the teachers and students treated me the same as everyone else. They were encouraging and generous. There was always interest in what I could do, rather than what I 'couldn't' do - focusing on my abilities over my disability. The result was that, from a young age, despite a tough beginning, I didn't feel much different to everyone else. There were challenges, for sure, and it would take me longer to do normal everyday things. But I felt encouraged and well supported. I like to say that I'm not disabled, I am 'uniquely able' and those challenges taught me to become adaptable and find innovative ways of overcoming obstacles." (playersvoice.com.au, 11 Jul 2019)
Awards and honours
She was named 2019 Paralympic Athlete of the Year by Swimming Australia. (pickstar.com.au, 18 Oct 2019)

In April 2019 she was named University of Queensland's 2018 Sportswoman of the Year. (uq.edu.au, 16 Apr 2019)

In October 2017 she received the Mrs. Gina Rinehart Patron Award from the Queensland Academy of Sport in Australia. (qasport.qld.gov.au, 30 Oct 2017)

In January 2017 she was given a Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in recognition of her winning a gold medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (paralympic.org, 28 Jan 2017)

She received the People's Choice Award at the 2015 Swimmer of the Year Awards in Australia. (qasport.qld.gov.au, 07 Sep 2015)

She was named the 2014 Junior Female Athlete of the Year by the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. (swimming.org.au, 26 Nov 2014)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (commonwealthgames.com.au, 01 Jan 2017)
Impairment
She was born bottom first [breech birth], which caused a lack of oxygen and a stroke, and she had to be resuscitated. The trauma led to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy that predominantly affects the movement, coordination and balance on her left side. She also has epilepsy and early onset Parkinson's disease. (futurestategreats.com.au, 22 Jun 2014; quest.newspaperdirect.com, 27 Mar 2014; playersvoice.com.au, 11 Jul 2019)
Other information
CYBER-BULLYING
She says she has been the target of cyber-bullying since she has become an international Para athlete. "I think it was because I came onto the scene pretty quickly, which led some people to question my ability out of jealousy. I've made a conscious effort to not engage in it. Everyone says to not think about it, but it's very hard to do. It's disheartening that some people don't care about the emotional effect they can have on others. I know it would be so much easier to quit swimming, but that would be giving in to the bullies, and quitting isn't in my vocabulary. When the times get tough, I like to remind myself why I do what I do - I swim because it's healthy for me and I love it. I love the opportunities it brings, and I love how there is always room for improvement." (playersvoice.com.au, 11 Jul 2019)

SWIMMING TECHNIQUE
She swims using only the right side of her body. "I have cerebral palsy left hemiplegia, which means the left side of my body – my arm, trunk and left leg is all impaired – leaving me with loss of coordination, balance and some other issues. So in the water, I'm really just powering home on the right side of my body, which can be quite hard to balance, so I've got to really work on my core and move through the water as fast as I can." (swimswam.com, 15 Sep 2019)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2015-07-16 3
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2015-07-16 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2015-07-16 3
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2015-07-17 2
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2015-07-17 3
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 1 2015-07-18 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final 1 2015-07-18 5
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final 1 2015-07-19 2
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2015-07-19 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2015-07-19 3
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2016-09-08 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2016-09-08 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Final Round 2016-09-09 8
Women's 100 m Butterfly S8 Heat 2 2016-09-09 4
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2016-09-11 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2016-09-11 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Final Round 2016-09-13 4
Women's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 2 2016-09-13 1
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 2016-09-15 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Final Round 2016-09-16 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2016-09-16 3
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final Round 2016-09-16 2
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Final Round 2016-09-17 3
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM8 Heat 2 2016-09-17 2