Paige Leonhardt is a Paralympic Swimmer who was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Paige was born in Penrith, NSW, in 2000, and was involved in a serious car accident at age 5. She underwent years of recovery and now suffers from drusen, yellow deposits under the retinas, as well as hemiplegia on her right side, intracranial hypertension, epilepsy and autism.
Paige started swimming at age 12 during her therapy, and as a 13-year-old she won bronze in the open multi-class breaststroke at the 2014 Australian championships, before winning gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the Australian Age Championships in the same year.
Paige competes in the S14 classification and has enjoyed even more success since 2014. She won multiple medals at the Australian Open championships and Australian Age championships in 2015 in her favoured breaststroke, as well as in freestyle, and in 2016 made her Paralympic debut.
At the Rio Paralympic Games, Paige competed in six events and made the final in the 100m butterfly and 100m breaststroke. This experience propelled her into 2018 when she won silver at the Commonwealth Games as well as two golds, one silver and a bronze at the Pan Pacific Championships.
Paige won silver in the S14 butterfly at the Tokyo Paralympic Games and she wants more. She is currently aiming to be selected in her third Paralympic squad for Paris 2024. Beyond swimming and the Paralympics, she would like to work with animals in the future.
“It means never giving up. Never letting the bullies get to me. That getting up at 4:30am to train six days a week is worth it. That the best rewards in life are the ones you work for the hardest and I’m so honoured to be recognised by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.” – Paige Leonhardt on being selected as a 2022 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2018: Para Pan Pacs Championships – silver, 100m breaststroke
- 2018: Para Pan Pacs Championships – gold, 4x400m Medley Relay
- 2018: Para Pan Pacs Championships – bronze, 100m butterfly
- 2018: Para Pan Pacs Championships – gold, 4x100m freestyle relay
- 2018: Commonwealth Games – silver, 100m breaststroke
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – silver, 100m butterfly
- 2022: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder – Tier 3
Bio credit to Paralympics Australia.