Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – Short stature – Achondroplasia
Sport
Athletics
How acquired
Congenital
Date of Birth
May 15, 1995
Home
Withcott, QLD
Occupation
Childcare worker
Started Competing
2009
First Competed for Australia
2011
Games Experience

Rio 2016

Career Highlights

Winning silver at her international debut

Greatest Moment

Winning bronze at the 2012 National Championships

Bio

Born with achondroplasia resulting in short stature, Claire Keefer has shown incredible promise as a Paralympic thrower since beginning her athletics career as a 14-year-old.

In 2009 Claire was delivering a message to her brother’s athletics coach when, on hearing that she didn’t participate in athletics because she couldn’t run, he encouraged her to try throwing. The following year she began training with a coach who specialised in working with athletes with a disability and within 12 months she was competing at state level and working towards representing Australia at the Paralympic Games and World Championships.

After performing exceptionally well at the 2010 Australian Athletes with a Disability Championships in Canberra, Claire was invited to begin competing in the Open division. The Withcott local was thrilled to learn that she would have qualified for the 2011 World Championships, had she been older – classification for short stature athletes is determined by the limb length to height ratio, and given her age, she may still have been growing.

Claire worked to improve her technique, and at her international debut in 2011, she won silver in discus and bronze in shot put. She competed in both events at the 2016 Paralympic Games, placing 7th and 3rd, respectively, and lists her selection for Rio as her greatest achievement to date.

However, Claire’s whirlwind career has been marred by an ongoing back problem. As a teenager, she had a laminectomy that took her a year to recover from, and in 2014 she began to lose feeling in her legs. Though there was talk of fusing her spine, she manages her condition with physiotherapy, massage, hydrotherapy and Pilates.

Claire is currently employed as a childcare worker, but in ten years’ time she hopes to have completed a degree in either education or childhood psychology.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: Shot put Classification: F41
  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: Discus Classification: F41