Quick Facts

How acquired
Physical Impairment – Double arm and leg deficiency
Date of Birth
November 18, 1991
Brunswick East, VIC
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

London 2012, Rio 2016


His mother Moira Kelly and Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson

Career Highlights

His selection for the London 2012 Paralympic team

Greatest Moment

The Australian Paralympic women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team winning gold at London 2012


Born in 1991 with significant disabilities in all four limbs, Ahmed Kelly was left at a Baghdad orphanage where he spent the majority of the first seven years of his life. Then in 1998, he met Moira Kelly from the Children’s First Foundation who brought Ahmed and his brother Emmanuel, also born with limb deficiencies, to Australia for medical treatment.

After undergoing surgery to remove the deformed sections of his lower legs, Ahmed learned to walk with the use of prostheses and before long, he began to run. His inspiring recovery soon led him to his first sporting love, Aussie Rules football. He joined his local team in Kilmore, Victoria and quickly earned the nickname ‘Nails’ because of his ‘hard as nails’ style of play. When he jumped in the pool, his nickname became to ‘Liquid Nails’ as he tackled the sport with the same approach.

His toughness, skill and determination helped him progress rapidly as a footballer but after attending an APC Come and Try Day, he turned his attention to swimming and has not looked back.

After competing at his first international competition, the 2009 Oceania Paralympic Championships in Darwin, Ahmed went  on to claim back-to-back titles in the 100m breaststroke at the 2010 and 2011 Australian Championships, with both victories coming in world record time.

At London 2012, Ahmed came agonisingly close to winning a medal in the 50m breaststroke, finishing fourth.

Cheering him on were two very special guests supporting him all the way – his adopted sisters Trishna and Krishna. The conjoined twins were separated during more than 27 hours of surgery in 2009. Ahmed says the support of his sisters still pushes him a couple of metres forward at every race.

Ahmed went to his second Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 wanting to make up for London 2012. He competed in four events, however was unable to qualify for the finals, something he is already aiming to achieve at Tokyo 2020.

With his resilient family behind him all the way, Ahmed doesn’t have to look very far for inspiration. He counts his adoptive mother as a hero for the wonderful humanitarian work she does every day despite facing her own challenges, and his brother Emmanuel who hasn’t let his own disabilities stop him from chasing his dream of becoming a singer, having appeared on Channel 7’s X-Factor in 2011.

Ahmed also draws inspiration from members of the London 2012 Australian Paralympic swimming team. He admires teammate and best friend Grant Patterson for his dedication in the pool and says that there has been no greater sporting moment than when the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team defeated Great Britain to win gold.

When Ahmed isn’t in the pool, he can be found playing footy with his mates, listening to music or studying for his Bachelor of Arts degree which he plans to complete post Rio. When he retires from swimming, he hopes to work in sport full time, supporting and motivating others to participate and take their careers as far as they can.



Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 50m breaststroke Classification: SB3
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 150m individual medley Classification: SM4
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 50m backstroke Classification: S4
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 4x50m freestyle relay Classification: S4