Despite having only just burst onto the international scene, Matthew Haanappel proved he meant business when, at his debut Paralympic Games, he achieved his dream of gold as a member of the men’s 4x100m freestyle 34 Points relay team.
And if that’s not enough, the then 18-year-old also won a bronze medal in the men’s 4x100m medley 34 Points, placed fifth in the men’s 100m freestyle S6 and men’s 100m backstroke S6, sixth in the men’s 50m freestyle S6 and seventh in the men’s 200m individual medley SM6.
Born with right hemiplegic cerebral palsy following a prenatal stroke at 20 weeks, Matthew learned to swim as part of his rehabilitation. However, it was only in 2005 that he could start to take the sport seriously, having finally found someone who knew how to coach athletes with a disability. After that, it was all systems go.
Post London, Matthew contested the …Read More