Today's blog is inspirational and has an Olympic theme. I felt it was a fitting celebration of what can be achieved in spite of adversity. It's a true test of an individual's grit and determination to succeed.
I first met Prue at the UNSW sports awards night. You're probably wondering what I was doing there?! My other half is president of the UNSW ES (Eastern Suburbs) Bulldogs AFL team and Nurture Parenting sponsors the Stingrays (ladies AFL). My other half had known Prudence for quite some time. They do squad training at Cranbook School's swimming pool several times a week. These are really elite athletes and my other half is an ocean swimmer and triathlete. Unfortunately I am none of these things!!
Prue Watt, OAM, established herself as one of Australia’s most successful Paralympians at the Athens 2004 Games. Bringing home five silver medals and one bronze medal. In 2004 she was awarded the Female Junior Paralympian of the Year for her achievements. And finally winning gold at her third Paralympics in London for 100m breaststroke.
Prudence has quite a remarkable back story as most Paralympians do. She was a 24 week gestation baby in 1987 and had acquired retinopathy of prematurity because of high level ventilation and oxygen used to treat her premature lungs. As a result, she can see approximately 2 metres ahead of her and has a limited amount of peripheral vision. Her vision impairment has presented her with many challenges, however she has learnt to adapt.
As a midwife and Ex SCN and NICU nurse and midwife this blew me away. In 1987 to have not just survived at 24 weeks but to have survived and become a Paralympian is a massive feat: https://www.paralympic.org.au/athlete/prue-watt/
She has an impressive career as a Paralympian and fits in training around her studies in health science at UNSW. She is also chair of the student council there, where she focuses on students with disabilities. Prue is one determined lady and I shall be watching and barracking for her in Rio 2016 Paralympics. Go Prue!