Imagen
41182-Leo McCrea photo

Leo McCrea

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Short stature
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S6, SB6, SM6

Further personal information

Residence
Poole, ENG
Occupation
Student
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at a young age in England, and took part in his first Dwarf Sports Association UK event at age eight. "I always loved to swim from a young age. One year I competed at the Dwarf Sport Games in Birmingham where there were a range of sports you could compete in for fun against other people with dwarfism of all ages. I competed in the swimming gala."
Why this sport?
He was inspired by British Para swimmer Ellie Simmonds. "Ellie has the same impairment as me. I was lucky to first meet her at my first Dwarf Games, when I was only eight years old. Later I was able to watch her at the Paralympics in London in 2012, when she got her world record and won another gold medal in the 400m freestyle. It gave me butterflies in my tummy. This encouraged me to pursue my dreams. If she can do it, I can too."
Club / Team
Mount Kelly Swimming: Tavistock, ENG
Name of coach
Martin Salmingkeit [national]

General interest

Hobbies
Supporting English football club Crystal Palace. (cpfc.co.uk, 23 Aug 2021)
Hero / Idol
British Para swimmer Ellie Simmonds. (sportsaid.org.uk, 20 Dec 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Swimming has shown me that nothing is impossible." (lookcharms.com, 27 Aug 2021)
Awards and honours
He was named 2018 Para Swimmer of the Year at Swim England's national awards ceremony. (Dwarf Sports Association UK Facebook page, 28 Nov 2018; bournemouthecho.co.uk, 23 Dec 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (lookcharms.com, 27 Aug 2021; mags4dorset.co.uk, 25 Mar 2019)
Impairment
He was born with achondroplasia and is a person of short stature. (mags4dorset.co.uk, 25 Mar 2019)
Other information
REPRESENTING SWITZERLAND
He was born and raised in England by a Swiss mother and a British father. After progressing as a swimmer at Bournemouth Collegiate School and on Swim England's development programme, he was invited in 2018 to join Great Britain's Para Swimming Academy Squad. The academy is the first step towards the organisation's World Class Podium programme for athletes targeting medals at the 2024 Paralympic Games. But an opportunity to join the Swiss Para swimming team meant he would have a more realistic chance of competing at major events earlier, including the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. The Swiss Paralympic Committee helped fast-track a passport request, and he began representing the nation in 2019. "My mum and grandma are from Switzerland and I had the option to take a Swiss passport. It has always been my dream to get into the Paralympics, not only in Tokyo 2020 but also Paris 2024." (lookcharms.com, 27 Aug 2021; cpfc.co.uk, 23 Aug 2021; mags4dorset.co.uk, 25 Mar 2019; bournemouthcollegiateschool.co.uk, 14 Mar 2019; swimming.org, 10 Nov 2018; paralympics.org.uk, 19 Oct 2018)