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22128-Thomas Hamer photo

Thomas Hamer

Swimming
2

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Intellectual impairment
Classification
S14, SB14, SM14

Further personal information

Residence
Rawtenstall, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Media Professional - Radio
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age five in England, and entered his first competition at age nine.
Why this sport?
His mother encouraged him to start swimming. "At the age of 10, I was told I wouldn't succeed at swimming. My school told me to give it up and that it would get me nowhere in life. But here's the thing - with some hard work, determination and some phenomenal support I stand here having won gold, silver and bronze medals in the Commonwealth Games, the European and world championships and the [2016] Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro."
Club / Team
National Performance Centre Manchester: England
Name of coach
Rob Aubry [national], GBR

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Great Britain
Location
Glasgow, SCO

General interest

Nicknames
Tom (lancashiretelegraph.co.uk, 17 May 2014)
Hobbies
Clay pigeon shooting. (paralympics.org.uk, 03 Dec 2020)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the S14 200m freestyle at the 2019 World Championships in London, England. (burnleyexpress.net, 12 Sep 2019)
Most influential person in career
His parents. (lancashiretelegraph.co.uk, 04 Apr 2018)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Michael Phelps. (bbc.co.uk, 29 Nov 2016)
Injuries
A back injury caused him to miss the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 31 Mar 2022; swimming.org, 02 Mar 2022)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Swimming is my happy place, where I am in my bubble." (swimming.org, 21 Mar 2018)
Awards and honours
He was named the 2018 Para Swimmer of the Year by British Swimming. (swimswam.com, 17 Nov 2018)
Other information
TOKYO DISAPPOINTMENT
He considered retiring from the sport after he missed the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo with a back injury. "Since my medical withdrawal in Tokyo with my back injury, it's been one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions, mentally, physically and being in a very dark place with my swimming career - coming so close to hanging up my goggles. British Swimming has had a brand new restructure in terms of new coaches and staff and this has benefited me so much with having a new set of fresh eyes watching and pushing me." (Instagram profile, 31 Mar 2022; swimming.org, 02 Dec 2021)

RADIO PRESENTING
In 2021 he began training as a radio presenter at Rossendale Radio in England. "Since literally the week after Tokyo [the 2020 Paralympic Games], right up until Christmas, I spent several hours every week getting trained up on the decks with all the controls and the whole system. It's been a massive learning experience and has definitely helped with my confidence, and with my reading skills as I'm awful at reading. It's funny how things turn out. At the time I would have never even thought about being a presenter and being on the radio but just after Tokyo the opportunity came to work at Rossendale Radio. I only do a few hours a week, as my training is still my priority, but it's great to have something alongside to keep me busy away from the pool." (Instagram profile, 25 Feb 2022, 13 Jan 2022; britishswimming.org, 21 Jan 2022)

RELATIONSHIP WITH FATHER
His father has a vision impairment as a result of a brain tumour in 2014. Hamer says their respective impairments have seen them form a closer relationship. "During lockdown [during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020] I worked for my dad because the pools weren't open, the gyms weren't open, so I was stuck doing nothing. My dad has a building company so I was out on site with him. We've been in the same boat really, me and my dad, because when he helps me do computer work for British Swimming and Paralympics GB, there's always bits of surveys we've got to do and we find it funny because I can't read it and he can't see it. Whereas when I was back at school, he was the one who could read it, see it, he helped me do all that. He's one of the strongest people I know and I'm so proud of him. He's literally my hero." (paralympics.org.uk, 03 Dec 2020)

BOY SCOUT
He is a member of the East Lancashire Scouts in Rawtenstall, England. He has also served as an ambassador for the organisation. "I go every Tuesday night and I absolutely love it. I try to do as many weekends, parades as I can. It's just good to give something back." (eastlancashirescouts.org.uk, 17 Jan 2021; Twitter profile, 27 Nov 2019; lancashiretelegraph.co.uk, 04 Apr 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Heat 2 2015-07-15 3
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Final 1 2015-07-15 3
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM14 Heat 1 2015-07-17 3
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM14 Final 1 2015-07-17 4
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Heat 1 2016-09-11 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Final Round 2016-09-11 2
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM14 Heat 2 2016-09-17 1
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM14 Final Round 2016-09-17 2