If you haven’t already heard of Ellie Cole, write her name down now and commit it to memory.
At two years old, the now-Paralympian was diagnosed with a rare tumour called a sarcoma in her right leg, which was eventually amputated to above the knee.
As part of her rehabilitation, Cole’s mother took her swimming. Melbourne-born Cole quickly surpassed all expectations and took up competitive swimming in 2003.
Now the 24 year old is a champion in both times and attitude. She won six medals at the 2012 London Paralympic games, including four golds.
During her second Paralympics in Rio this week, Cole experienced the feeling most athletes will face at some point – not coming first. In fact, she was pipped by just 0.02 of a second by newcomer Nuria Marquez Soto of Spain.
Describing the “eerie silence” as the athletes stand on the blocks, instinct immediately kicks in when the starting siren blares.