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Vision impairment - retinopathy of prematurity
Date of Birth
Hawthorn East, VIC
First Competed for Australia
Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012
Layne Beachley, Susie O’Neill
Winning gold at her third Paralympics after winning five silver and one bronze medal at Athens 2004
100m butterfly at the 2008 Australian Short Course Championships
Prue Watt established herself as one of Australia’s most successful Paralympians at the Athens 2004 Games, bringing home five silver medals and one bronze medal. Her widespread success saw her awarded the 2004 Female Junior Paralympian of the Year for her achievements.
Four years later at Beijing 2008, while she did not win any medals, Prue put in a consistent performance and made the final for each of her events. In the highlight of her Games experience, she finished fourth in the 100m butterfly, fifth in the 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley, sixth in the 100m and 400m freestyle and eighth in the 100m backstroke.
Prue continued to put in the hard yards in the pool, hoping to make the team for the London Games. She made her third Paralympic team and in London won another bronze medal to add to her collection in the 50m freestyle. Still chasing the gold that had eluded her throughout her career, Prue put her head down in the 100m breaststroke and came up a gold medallist, winning the final gold for Australia in the pool in London.
Prue was born premature at 24 weeks and the high levels of oxygen in her system resulted in damaged retinas that seriously limit her vision. Her vision impairment has presented many challenges, however she has learnt to adapt. She is currently studying a health science degree at Newcastle University and is undertaking an internship at Vision Australia.
Prue believes she was given her disability for a reason and it has made her more determined to succeed at everything she does. She is unsure of how long she will continue swimming and is enjoying a well-earned post-Games reprieve.
Sport & Disciplines
Disciplines: 50m freestyle
Disciplines: 100m breaststroke