Despite her youth, 20-year-old McKenzie Coan is considered a veteran in the swimming world. The US swimmer made her international debut in 2009 and has not stopped improving ever since.
But it was not until last year that Coan made a name for herself, winning three golds in the women’s 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle S7 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She followed that up with a silver in the 4x100m freestyle.
She is hoping to continue her winning run at the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City, from 30 September-6 October.
Here, Coan shares three unforgettable moments in the pool.
1. When my brothers joined the swim team, when I was four years old. It didn't take long for me to want to join after seeing them having so much fun at practice and at meets.
2. I told my parents that I wanted to race just like my brothers but in order to join the swim team, you had to be able to swim a lap without a life jacket or any assistance. The next day when we got to the pool, I threw away my life jacket, jumped in the water and swam not one, but six laps on my own before stopping.
3. When a kid would cry because I beat them and I was in a wheelchair. I always thought that was a funny reaction; and I loved proving people wrong that only saw me for my disability.