Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Cowdrey swims into the history books as our greatest Paralympian

Joint Media Release with:

  • SENATOR KATE LUNDY Minister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation

    SENATOR JAN MCLUCAS Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin, Minister for Sport Kate Lundy and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Jan McLucas today congratulated swimmer Matt Cowdrey on becoming Australia’s greatest Paralympian – winning his 11th gold medal.

Matt won the 50m freestyle S9 final in a world record time of 25.13 seconds to collect another gold and surpass veteran track sprinter Tim Sullivan’s record of 10 gold medals.

Qualifying fastest for the final, Matt entered the race on course for an historic 11th gold. He did not disappoint in the race, blitzing the field by more than 0.6 seconds to chase down the record.

Matt now enters the record books as Australia’s greatest Paralympian with 11 Paralympic gold medals and 20 medals overall.

Born with a congenital amputation of his lower left arm, Matt is an inspiration to all Australians.

With enormous drive and determination, Matt has always strived to excel and be the best he can be. He has demonstrated incredible fortitude to realise his full potential and make history on the world sporting stage.

The Gillard Government is working towards a future where all Australian children and adults with disability lead lives of dignity and opportunity.

We are providing $1 billion to deliver the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to provide Australians with a disability the care and support they need, when they need it.

The Australian Government has also provided strong funding to support our Paralympic Team, committing over $13.7 million in 2011-12 for the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and $2.7 million in Direct Athlete Support (DAS) to help Australia’s Paralympic athletes reach their potential.