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Left arm amputee
Date of Birth
Dee Why, NSW
First Competed for Australia
Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008
2 gold and 4 WR at 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze & WR in 100m freestyle & 100m butterfly at the 2004 Athens Games, 1 gold and 1 silver at Beijing 2008
2002 Commonwealth Games, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008
Over a decade ago, a young swimmer named Ben Austin burst on to the Australian swimming scene. With countless World Championships, two Commonwealth Games and three Paralympic Games behind him, Ben holds 11 Paralympic medals and is a veteran of the Australian Paralympic swim team.
Ben, who has also represented his club in able-bodied swimming, lost his left arm just above the elbow when he was only two weeks old. Following complications from his birth, doctors were forced to amputate. He began swimming when he was five years old and has played rugby league, rugby union and water polo.
At the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Ben took out the gold medal in both the 50m and 100m freestyle, setting a world record in both events. The only other Australian athletes to break world records at those Games were Ian Thorpe and the Australian cycling team. In Athens, Ben won two gold and three silver medals and in Beijing won a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay and was part of the record breaking, gold medaling 4x100m relay team, which he sees as one of his sport career highlights. He believes the Beijing Games hosted a greater depth of competition and were the biggest Paralympic Games he has attended in terms of crowd size and interest.
Ben is now aiming to continue through to the Commonwealth Games and World Championships in 2010 whilst studying to teach English as a second language in overseas countries.
Sport & Disciplines
Disciplines: 50m,100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100 freestyle relay, 4x100 medley relay
Classification: S8, SM8