Published: Sep 26, 2012 09:03:41 AM Updated: Oct 17, 2012 12:09:52 PM
The competition pool at the SA Aquatic Centre will be named in honour of Australia’s greatest Paralympian, Matt Cowdrey.
Premier Jay Weatherill said it was fitting to honour the 23-year-old, who, having competed in three Paralympic games, has amassed a record 23 medals – 13 of them gold.
“Matt equalled his Beijing haul of five gold medals in London and if he decides to compete in Rio in 2016 I have no doubt he would add to his tally,” Mr Weatherill said.
“Matt’s success at the Paralympics is an inspiration to all Australians - his resilience, dedication and attitude make him a wonderful ambassador for the state.
“Being a Paralympian takes an extra measure of guts and determination. Many of our Paralympians would have been told from a young age about everything they can’t do – and they decided to throw every effort into what they can do.”
“Pushing themselves to the limits, going way beyond the expectations others have set - is truly inspiring.”
Mr Weatherill made the announcement to coincide with the Paralympic civic reception in Adelaide today.
Swimming Australia President, David Urquhart, praised Matt’s attitude to South Australia and his sport.
“Matt is an outstanding ambassador for the sport of swimming and as a three-time Paralympian has always represented Australia with humility and pride,” he said.
“His recent performances in the pool in London helped our swim team to a best ever performance with 18 gold and 37 medals in total, and is leadership of the team was unparalleled.
“This is a well-deserved honour for Matt.”
Acting General Manager of Swimming SA, Michelle Doyle, said that Matt’s passion, dedication and courage would inspire many young South Australians to take up swimming, possibly for the first time.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Paralympic Committee, Jason Hellwig, said Matt is not only Australia’s most successful Paralympian in history, but he is also a very proud South Australian which is why this honour is so fitting.
“I hope it inspires more emerging athletes to follow their dreams and fulfil their potential, regardless of their ability or disability,” he said.