Quick Facts

How acquired
Physical Impairment – Cerebral Palsy
Date of Birth
November 3, 1998
Gillieston Heights, NSW
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

London 2012, Rio 2016

Career Highlights

Breaking the 100m freestyle S8 world record at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Greatest Moment

Becoming the youngest Australian to win a Paralympic gold medal


Maddison Elliott is just like any other teenager. She is a chatterbox with her friends and likes playing on her iPhone, but unlike most girls her age, Maddison is making a giant splash on the international Para-swimming stage.

At age 13, Maddison became the youngest Australian Paralympian ever to win a gold medal as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay at London 2012. Adding to the triumph, she won a silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 100m and 400m freestyle. Her results from her debut Games were recognised when she was presented the Junior Athlete of the Year award at the 2012 Paralympian of the Year Awards.  Maddison also enjoyed brief worldwide fame at the Games when she was snapped meeting Great Britain’s Prince Harry in the stands at the Paralympic swimming pool.

Having made her mark internationally, Maddison backed up her incredible Paralympic performance when she broke the 100m freestyle world record to bring home gold from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Born with cerebral palsy which affects the right side of her body, Maddison initially started swimming to support her physiotherapy. With her older sister already competing and progressing in the sport, Maddison was inspired to start competing herself and it wasn’t before long that she would become a swimming sensation.

At the 2009 Youth Paralympic Games in Melbourne where Maddison made her international debut, she won an impressive five gold medals.

In 2011 she competed at the Oceania Paralympic Championships before taking on girls her own age at the Australian Multi-Class Age Swimming Championships in Canberra where she took home three gold medals, five silver and one bronze.

Maddison had an extraordinary Rio 2016 campaign, where she became the most prolific Australian medallist of the Games, winning a total of six from six events. She won her first individual Paralympic gold medal in the 100m freestyle in a Paralympic record time of 1:04.73 and followed this with gold in the 50m freestyle in a world record time of 29.73. She also won silver in the 100m backstroke and 4 x 100m medley relay and won gold in world record time in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay team alongside Ellie Cole, Lakeisha Patterson and Ashleigh McConnell.

Graduating from Junior Paralympian of the Year, Maddison was then awarded Female Paralympian of the Year for her efforts.

While Maddison’s talent is evident in her results, Maddison credits her family for getting her to where she is today. She believes the support and guidance from her mother and grandparents have allowed her to excel in addition to her coach Paul Sharman, who has been by her side pushing her to reach her full potential since the age of six.

When she’s not in the pool, the Bishop Tyrrel Anglican College student claims she is always tripping over her own feet, but that won’t stop her from reaching her ultimate goal; swimming in a total of five Games before retiring at the ripe age of 33.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 50m freestyle Classification: S8
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m freestyle Classification: S8
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 400m freestyle Classification: S8
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m butterfly Classification: S8
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m backstroke Classification: S8
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 200m individual medley Classification: SM8
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 4x100m freestyle relay Classification: S8
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 4x100m medley relay Classification: S8