Katja Dedekind was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Born in Durban South Africa, Katja moved to Australia at a young age and resides on the Sunshine Coast. She was born with congenital cataracts and amblyopia and because of this she is blind in her right eye and has limited vision in the left eye.
Katja started swimming at a very young age but started to seriously train in 2012 and by 2016 at the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships and she won bronze in the women’s 200m freestyle and finished fifth in the women’s 50m backstroke and breaststroke.
She was one of the youngest athletes who was selected to represent Australia in the Rio Paralympics and on her international debut she won bronze in the Women’s 100m Backstroke (S13) and finished seventh in the 400m freestyle (S13).
Competing at the 2018 Para Pan Paciﬁc Championships in Cairns, Katja collected a gold, silver and bronze medal. Following her impressive swims in 2019, she received her fourth Dolphins call up to compete in London at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. Katja finished seventh in 100m Backstroke(S13), 50m Freestyle(S13), 100m Freestyle(S13) and sixth in the 4x100m Mixed Freestyle Relay (49pts).
In 2018 Katja was selected as a Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Bearer.
Katja’s determination and hard work earned being ‘Sporting Wheelies 2019 Most Improved Athlete of the Year’.
At the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, Katja won bronze medals in both the women’s 100m backstroke (S13) and 400m freestyle (S13), she also finished fourth in the women’s 50m Freestyle (S13). Her first bronze medal was met with a lot of tears during her post race interview as she was unaware that she had medalled due to not being able to see the result board.
“In receiving the SAHOF Scholarship it gives me great honour to know that I am amongst very successful athletes who have the same goals as me: achieving the best I can. With the support from SAHOF I am now able to be closer to succeeding and surpassing my goals.” – Katja Dedekind on being selected as a 2021 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.
“I would like to congratulate Col, Katja and Brendon on this terrific achievement, we are incredibly proud to have three swimmers selected in the program for 2021.
Both Col and Katja are already valued members of our Dolphins swim team and Brendon is a young swimmer that has shown great potential and they should be thrilled they have been chosen for this honour.
It is fantastic these athletes will also have the opportunity to be mentored by a Sport Australia Hall of Fame member, that sort of guidance from someone who has been at the pinnacle of their sport is priceless.” – Swimming Australia CEO, Leigh Russell
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2016: Paralympic Games, Rio – bronze and Oceania Record, 100m backstroke – S13
- 2016: Paralympic Games, Rio – 7th, 400m freestyle – S13
- 2018: Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Bearer
- 2018: Para Pan Paciﬁc Championships, Cairns – gold, 100m backstroke – S13
- 2018: Para Pan Paciﬁc Championships, Cairns – silver, 400m freestyle – S13
- 2018: Para Pan Paciﬁc Championships, Cairns – bonze, 200m Individual Medley – S13
- 2019: World Para Swimming Championships, London – 6th, 100m backstroke – S13
- 2019: World Para Swimming Championships, London – 6th, 50m & 100m freestyle
- 2019: World Para Swimming Championships, London – 6th, mixed 4x100m freestyle – 49 pts
- 2019: Sporting Wheelies Most Improved Athlete of the Year
- 2020: World Para Series, Melbourne – gold, women’s Open Multi-Class 100m backstroke
- 2020: World Para Series, Melbourne – silver, women’s Open Multi-Class 50m Freestyle
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – bronze, women’s 100m backstroke (S13)
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – bronze, women’s 400m freestyle (S13)
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – fourth, women’s 50m freestyle (S13)