Australia’s youngest athlete at the Commonwealth Games, Para-swimmer Jasmine Greenwood, has revelled in the experience of being part of her first multi-sport team.
At just 13 years old, the rising star of the S10 class is the youngest of 426 athletes competing for Australia, but has shown through her poise and her performance, she is an athlete to be taken as seriously as any other.
In the SM10 Individual Medley last week, the NSW South Coast native swam 2:34.97 to place sixth – her second personal best of the Games, having swum a previous personal best earlier during the heats.
“Swimming out there, it’s just amazing. I don’t know if it was the home crowd but it was such a good swim. And it was my second PB, so good,” she said.
And while her first Commonwealth Games campaign has now ended, Greenwood is confident she will take with her so many learnings to make her a better athlete as her star continues to rise.
“It’s pretty overwhelming to be in the Village, and know you’re the youngest athlete there. But knowing that makes you feel lucky to have the spot, and knowing I’m the youngest means I know how far I might be able to go one day.
“It’s a pretty big achievement.”
Greenwood, who has been swimming since she was six months old, turned to Para-swimming after acquiring a brain injury as a result of appendicitis in 2011. Her injury affects her muscle strength on the left side of her body.
And since making her start in Para-swimming, she’s had her eyes firmly set on making a Commonwealth Games Team and a Paralympic Team; and at such a young age, she is already half way towards reaching her initial career goals.
“When I was selected for the Team after trials this year, it was a dream come true but I don’t think I considered the reality of it until now.
“Not just getting here and being in the Village, but swimming in the pool. It’s really nice to have my team mates around me to share this experience with – especially athletes that have been swimming longer than I’ve probably been alive,” she joked.
Having completed her campaign, with a second final berth in the SB10 100m breaststroke, Greenwood is now taking the opportunity to relax and watch her fellow Australian team mates compete, and spend time with her family.
“I’m going to take some time out and soak up the rest of the atmosphere.
“Mum and Dad are here, and also my whole family came to support me so we’re going to enjoy some sport together.”
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games run from April 4-15.
By APC Media
Photo: By Delly Carr