Claire is a Team GB Paralympic Swimmer, born without a left forearm. She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to swimming. She talks to Sundried about her decision to move into triathlon. 

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, I have always loved playing sport. Funnily enough when I was young I actually was quite scared of the water although I managed to overcome that fear quite quickly.

What prompted you to enter the world of competitive swimming?

I lived in Dubai from 5-10 so would swim (for fun) every day. When we returned to the UK I really missed swimming so joined a club and started competing.

What’s been your best race to date?

My first World Championship Gold medal in 2009 (World Short course). I broke the world record and won the gold medal in the 100m individual medley.

What was going through your mind when competing at the Paralympic Games?

'Oh my gosh I am going to be sick'. Haha. I knew I had done absolutely everything within my control to be the best I could be so I just needed to go out there and do it. 

What has been your proudest moment?

Standing on top of the medal podium wearing the British tracksuit and singing the national anthem is an extremely special moment. 

How do you overcome setbacks?

That's a really hard question as it all depends on the circumstance. I am quite an emotional person so rather than getting angry I would normally shed a few tears. After I had got all the emotion out, I would then try and use the setback as motivation to be better. Alternatively you can use it as an opportunity to work on your weaknesses.

What would you say to someone with a disability who is looking to enter competitive sport for the first time?

Don't think twice. Sport has 100% shaped me into the person I am today. Don't be afraid to fail and never let anyone tell you that you can't or are not good enough.

What are your goals for the next year?

Now I have transferred to triathlon my main aim is to increase my confidence and skill level on the bike, it is definitely my weakest discipline.

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