Fisher makes Paralympic pool her own with 3 medals

Monday 3 September 2012, 7:38PM

By Massey University


School of Psychology student Mary Fisher continues to make a big splash at the London Paralympics winning her third swimming medal.

Ms Fisher, a first-year Bachelor of Science student majoring in psychology at the Wellington campus, won the silver medal in the 100 metre backstroke final to add to her bronze medal for the 50 metre freestyle and a silver from the 100 metres freestyle.

The visually impaired 19-year old set a Paralympic record in her backstroke heat where she was the top qualifier and went half a second quicker in the final (one minute, 19 seconds, point six) only being edged out by eventual winner Japan’s Rina Akiyama by 0.12 seconds.

She set a personal best with her silver medal swim in the 100-metre freestyle finishing in 1:09.83.

Ms Fisher is categorised at the Paralympics as being totally blind and swims in the S11 class, requiring her to wear blackened goggles and for someone to tap her as she approaches the swimming pool wall.

Campus student advisor (Disability) Heather McCallum says Ms Fisher had to overcome other challenges before getting to London too.

“She is a straight A student in spite of missing classes in semester one due to having to attend training camps.”

Ms Fisher, who studies using electronic formats for her course work, had to take other tests she would otherwise have missed, in advance of her departure for her first Paralympic Games.

All of her lecturers had been incredibly supportive and excited for her success, Ms McCallum says of the Upper Hutt teenager who is a popular presence on campus.

“Mary manages the demands of being an elite athlete and an excellent student by training and studying hard.”