Having lost both his arms after an electric shock as a child, the now 24-year-old went on to focus on how he could best use his legs to propel himself through the water at blistering speed.
In just 100 days’ time 650 swimmers from 50 countries will descend on the British city of Glasgow and the Tollcross International Swimming Centre for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships from 13-19 July.
A raft of world and Paralympic champions are expected for the seven-day extravaganza. Here is a selection of their best stories.
Bradley Snyder, USA, S11
Snyder’s hotly anticipated return to the pool in 2014 followed a two-year hiatus after he won 400m freestyle gold at London 2012.
Fans may remember that victory, as it came exactly one year after an improvised explosive device blinded the swimmer in Afghanistan whilst he was on duty for the US Navy.
He also won gold in the 100m freestyle and silver in the 50m freestyle.
Sascha Kindred, Great Britain, S6, SB7
If Kindred has a successful year and makes it to Rio in 2016, he will celebrate his sixth consecutive Paralympic Games having debuted at Atlanta 1996.
During that time he has won no less than six Paralympic titles and in Glasgow will be hoping to add to his collection of seven Worlds gold medals. Having picked up his first European titles in 2014, Kindred is not done just yet.
Teresa Perales, Spain, S5, SB4
One of Spain’s most popular, and successful, athletes, Teresa Perales is also set to make her World Championships comeback in 2015.
Missing the 2010 edition due to having her son and then with serious illness putting her out of action for 2013, the 22-time Paralympic medallist has not competed at a Worlds since 2006.
In 2014, the Spaniard proved that she is still firmly in the hunt, winning three individual European titles to Norwegian rival Sarah-Louise Rung’s four.
Tao Zheng and Dong Lu, China, S6, SB7
Both armless swimmers, Zheng and Lu have captured the world’s imagination in recent years.
Having lost both his arms after an electric shock as a child, the now 24-year-old Zheng went on to focus on how he could best use his legs to propel himself through the water at blistering speed.
His 100m backstroke world record, set at London 2012, still stands today and Zheng is expected to defend his world title in the same event, and the 50m butterfly S6, at Glasgow 2015.
Lu lost her arms after being hit by a car aged six. In 2013, after winning gold in the 100m backstroke in London with a world record, she went on to claim the world title as well and still holds the fastest time in the event.
Tickets for Glasgow 2015 are on sale now at Ticketmaster from GBP 10/15 for adults for heats/finals. Children under 16 go free (terms and conditions apply).
Heats begin at 10:00 (GMT) every day and finals at 18:00.