Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Right below-knee limb loss
How acquired
Balcony fall accident
Date of Birth
April 9, 1994
Melbourne, VIC
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Rio 2016


Amy Purdy

Career Highlights

Competing at the 2015 IPC World Swimming Championships in Glasgow


Monique Murphy has not let major adversity in her life get in the way of her swimming aspirations.

A talented able-bodied swimmer, Monique suffered horrific injuries when, in March 2014, she fell 20 metres from a balcony. Just 19 years of age at the time, she broke her jaw in two places, her collarbone, three ribs and her tibial plateau as well as tearing her triceps tendon and cutting her neck dangerously close to the artery and windpipe. As a result of her injuries, her right leg was amputated below the knee.

Swimming quickly became a vital part of her rehabilitation and within five months she was training with Melbourne Vicentre club, and by eight months had qualified for the Australian National Championships. Eleven months on and she was swimming times that put her in the top 10 world rankings for the S10 classification.

Before long she made her first Australian team and was selected for the 2015 IPC World Swimming Championships Team. Competing at the Championships in Glasgow, Monique made two finals, finishing sixth in the 400m freestyle and seventh in the 100m butterfly.

Making her Paralympic debut in Rio, Monique competed in four events. She won silver in the 400m freestyle, and also competed in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke but did not make the finals. She says standing on the podium at her first Paralympic Games is her greatest sporting achievement to date.

Monique trains with a prosthetic fin which she has dubbed her “mermaid leg”. The prosthetic was produced by experts at the Royal Melbourne Hospital Amputee Rehabilitation Service, and is designed to help her activate the remaining muscles in her right leg during training swims.

Outside of swimming, Monique is studying a Bachelor of social work with honours at RMIT. She also volunteers with St Vincent de Paul with their youth program.

Monique looks up to swimmer Petria Thomas and Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m backstroke Classification: S10
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m freestyle Classification: S10
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 400m freestyle Classification: S10
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 4x100m freestyle relay Classification: S10
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 4x100m medley relay Classification: S10
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 50m freestyle Classification: S10