Before Ahmed Kelly was a three-time Paralympian, he was living in an orphanage in Baghdad, Iraq, with his brother Emmanuel.

Both had been born with severely underdeveloped arms and legs – not uncommon in countries torn by chemical warfare – and so when they met humanitarian worker Moira Kelly in 1998, Moira adopted them and brought them home with her to Australia.

Ahmed had surgery to remove both his legs below the knees, and it was then that he was introduced to his first love – Aussie Rules.

He soon earned the nickname ‘Nails’ for his tough-as-nails style of play, and it was Nails-turned-Liquid Nails when Ahmed discovered Para-swimming.

Ahmed made his Paralympic debut at the London 2012 Paralympic Games – cheering him on were his sisters, Trishna and Krishna, the Bangladeshi conjoined twins who were famously separated in 2009 – but another Paralympic Games and World Championships would pass …

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Date of birth
18 November 1991
Past Paralympic Games

London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020

Physical Impairment – Double below-elbow and above-knee limb loss
How acquired
Congenital (through exposure to chemical weapons in utero)
Melbourne, VIC
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Achieving selection to the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team

Greatest sporting moments

Watching Australia win gold in the women’s 4x100m freestyle 34 Points at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Heroes/role models

His mum, Grant 'Scooter' Patterson, David Lush

Favourite quote
Live every moment as if it is your last


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

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