Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – 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 in discus at the 2015 IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai, UAE

Greatest Moment

Being selected to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Bio

Born with achondroplasia, Claire Keefer has shown incredible promise as a Paralympic thrower since beginning her athletics career at 14.

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 after performing exceptionally well at the 2010 Australian Athletes with a Disability Championships in Canberra, where she would have qualified for the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand 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 was thrilled to be invited to join the Open division.

The Withcott local worked hard to improve her technique, and at the 2015 IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai, UAE, she achieved a silver and bronze medal finish in discus and shot put, respectively.

Representing Australia again in both events at her Paralympic debut in Rio, Claire stunned her competitors with bronze in shot put, a moment which ranks among the highlights of her whirlwind career to date.

However, her success 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 currently works as a childcare worker, but in 10 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