Margaret ‘Maggi’ McEleny is one of Scotland’s most successful female swimmers, with a Paralympic haul of three gold, five silver and seven bronze medals.
Aged 11, in 1965, she suffered paraplegia and epilepsy after a head injury left her temporarily blind. But she showed an unshakable desire and determination to battle back and become a legend in the pool.
She represented Great Britain at four consecutive Paralympic Games – Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. She distinguished herself in Atlanta by taking home more medals, five silver and four bronze, than any other British swimmer. Known for her elegant and efficient style, McEleny also holds the European record for the 50m breaststroke and world record for the 100m breaststroke.
In recognition of her incredible achievements and indomitable attitude, her team-mates voted for her to carry the British flag at the opening ceremony for the Sydney Paralympics. She received an MBE the same year and was a torch-bearer for the London Paralympics 12 years later.
Maggi retired from competition in 2005 after a tracheostomy made it impossible to continue. She continues to swim for leisure and she inspires others by coaching other swimmers at her former club, Port Glasgow Otters in Inverclyde.
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