Five-time Paralympian Nazim Erdem is the oldest and most experienced player on the Australian wheelchair rugby team.

After bringing home the long-awaited gold missing from his medal collection in a 51-66 defeat of rivals Canada at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Nazim was a part of the Steelers side which became the first team in wheelchair rugby history to win consecutive Paralympic gold medals and a World Championship title in a four-year period, defeating the USA 59-58 in a double-overtime thriller at Rio 2016.

Growing up, Nazim enjoyed timing how long he could hold his breath, becoming so good that he was eventually able to hold it for up to three minutes. Then at 20, when he broke his neck diving off a pier and faced the prospect of drowning, equipped with a lifetime of practice, he was able to hold his breath for the two-and-a-half minutes it took before …

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Date of birth
1 August 1970
Wheelchair rugby
Past Paralympic Games

Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Quadriplegia
How acquired
Diving into shallow water
Roxburgh Park, VIC
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Greatest sporting moments

Being a part of the team that won Australia’s first ever wheelchair rugby gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Heroes/role models

Muhammad Ali


  • Sport: Wheelchair rugby Classification: 0.5

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