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Susie Rodgers MBE

Copyrights: IPC Swimming, Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Susie Rodgers MBE

A Paralympic champion in swimming, who has competed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

She has won a total of 30 international medals to date, including six Paralympic medals; one Gold and five Bronze. She held multiple British and European records and retired in 2017 from her sport as undefeated European champion across five events and Paralympic champion in the 50m Butterfly (S7). Susie was honoured by the Queen in her New Year’s Honours list in 2017 for services to swimming for her country.

Her career started fairly late; in fact, she calls herself an “accidental athlete” because her path did not follow the traditional talent identification and pathway routes as a child. She trained around her full-time professional career at the time, as a project manager at the British Council, for a number of years before she managed to break onto the international Paralympic swimming team the year before London 2012. Her rise in swimming was fast and, once at the top of the podium, she maintained her position during her six years of professional competition.

Alongside her swimming career, Susie is an independent director on the boards of an athlete welfare organisation in the UK, a Sport Foundation and the London 2012 legacy charity called Spirit of 2012. She was an ambassador for Samsung leading into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and had the honour of being an Olympic Torch Bearer in 2017 ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang in 2018. She is a patron of several UK charities and speaks at global events about her journey as an athlete but also her professional and educational experiences living and working in a variety of countries.

Susie is passionate about intercultural relations, international development and languages. She was awarded a first class honours degree in three languages at university, where she studied French, German and Spanish. She worked for nine years at the British Council and has worked on bilateral education programmes between the UK and many countries including China, Switzerland, France, Germany, Latin America and Italy. Susie is a proud ambassador of sportanddev.og and the benefits of its truly global nature. She is a passionate advocate for global inclusion and physical activity that is open to all.

Sport changed my life. When I was a child, I loved any physical activity but I did not know what options were out there in terms of activities for those with impairments. I discovered sport later in life but it was always part of my life. I am constantly inspired and amazed by my fellow Paralympic athletes and I hope to use my own experiences and voice to support and share with the global sport community.

It is vital that people with any impairment are encouraged to be physically active. Sport can give you confidence and help you find yourself. I never dreamt of being a Gold medallist when I was a child because I never thought I could be good enough and twenty years later, I was standing on top of the podium.

Since living in Egypt as a child, I also discovered an equal passion for languages, travel and different cultures. From studying basic Arabic at school, to going on to learn multiple languages at university, I have lived in a variety of countries and travelled around the globe. My passion for sport combined with my love of sharing different cultural perspectives combines perfectly with an ambassador role with sportanddev.org. I am so proud to be involved and help as much as I can!

 

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