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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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Liesette Bruinsma - Rio 2016

Liesette Bruinsma

Swimming
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Part of a group of young visually impaired swimmers to have emerged as major medal contenders in the past two years is Dutch teenager Liesette Bruinsma.

With her double gold from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and an astonishing 18 world records broken since 2014, Bruinsma is one of the hottest properties in the women’s S11.

She has certainly put in the legwork, travelling around Europe to compete before arriving at the 2016 European Open Championships for her major international debut.

The hard work paid off and she left the competition with three titles and two more podium finishes.

Her path to Rio 2016 was indeed paved with gold and she bagged two Paralympic golds, beating more established names such as New Zealand’s Mary Fisher and Germany’s Daniela Schulte.

 

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S11, SB11, SM11

Further personal information

Residence
Wommels, NED
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Dutch

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para swimming in 2011.
Club / Team
HZ&PC Heerenveen: Netherlands
Name of coach
Sander Nijhuis [national]
Training Regime
She trains six days a week.

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Netherlands
Location
Glasgow, SCO

General interest

Hobbies
Listening to audio books. (lc.nl, 19 Dec 2015)
Hero / Idol
Dutch Para swimmer Lisette Teunissen. (talentboek.nl, 01 Jan 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I want to show the world that you can have an impairment and be an elite athlete." (Omrop Fryslan YouTube channel, 30 Sep 2016)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2016 Paralympic Athlete of the Year by the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sport Federation. (omropfryslan.nl, 22 Dec 2016)

She was named the 2016 Paralympic Athlete of the Year in Friesland, Netherlands. (hzpc-heerenveen.nl, 16 Feb 2017)
Ambitions
To win gold at the 2019 World Championships in London, England, and the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 26 Feb 2018)
Other information
DOCUMENTARY
Film director Jesse Bleekemolen is working on a documentary about her swimming career. He will follow her in the lead-up to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 26 Feb 2018; telegraaf.nl, 02 Jan 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Backstroke S11 Heat 1 2016-09-09 7
Women's 400 m Freestyle S11 Heat 2 2016-09-10 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S11 Final Round 2016-09-10 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S11 Final Round 2016-09-12 3
Women's 50 m Freestyle S11 Heat 3 2016-09-12 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB11 Final Round 2016-09-13 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S11 Heat 2 2016-09-15 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S11 Final Round 2016-09-15 3
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM11 Heat 2 2016-09-16 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM11 Final Round 2016-09-16 1