A University of Portsmouth student has been selected for the squad of British swimmers for this year’s Paralympic Games.
Lauren Steadman is currently in her first year studying Psychology. She was born without her arm below the elbow joint and started swimming before she was a year-old. At the age of 15 she competed in the Beijing Paralympic Games.
Lauren said: “It feels so good to be selected. Representing your country is a priceless feeling but to represent your country at a home Olympics is even better. Beijing had a fantastic atmosphere but to have a home crowd cheering for British athletes will be amazing.
“It’s been a massive challenge this year to juggle my swimming career with studying but the University has been very supportive and I’ve managed to successfully combine both.
“The next few months will involve really heavy training. I have a British Swimming training camp in Mallorca for two weeks which should be good fun – I’m looking forward to getting some sunshine and getting to know the rest of the team. I’ve also got the Nationals in July which will be a good indicator of how my preparation for the 2012 Games is going.
“I’m so excited about the thought of the whole country supporting the Games either at the Stadium or watching it on television. I’m sure the London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 will be the best yet!”
Despite only recently overcoming a hand injury the 19-year-old will most likely be training to compete in the freestyle events and relay, although exact races haven’t yet been confirmed.
Paul Tilley, Head of Sport and Recreation at the University of Portsmouth, said: “We’re very proud of Lauren. She’s one of our Sports Scholars who is a real asset to the University and we’re looking forward to supporting her at the 2012 Games.”