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 …

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Date of birth
18 November 1991
Past Paralympic Games

London 2012, Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Double arm and leg deficiency
How acquired
Brunswick East, VIC
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

His selection for the London 2012 Paralympic team

Greatest sporting moments

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

Heroes/role models

His mother Moira Kelly and Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson


  • Sport: Para-swimming Discipline: 50m breaststroke Classification: SB3
  • Sport: Para-swimming Discipline: 150m individual medley Classification: SM4
  • Sport: Para-swimming Discipline: 50m backstroke Classification: S4
  • Sport: Para-swimming Discipline: 4x50m freestyle relay Classification: S4

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