Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
Being named on the Beijing Paralympic team
Having made her Paralympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Games, Esther Overton is hoping to use that experience as a stepping stone to success at London 2012.
Esther was born with a condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which affects her from the neck down. All of her joints are fixed, meaning her bones break easily. This has caused her to break her arms more than 40 times. Esther needs full assistance with everyday activities but refuses to let her disability prevent her from achieving her goals.
Swimming at the Beijing Paralympic Games was a dream come true for Esther despite the setbacks she suffered in the lead up to the Games. She broke her arm at a staging camp just one day before the team arrived in Beijing and seven weeks earlier her lung collapsed. Incredibly Esther was able to compete but was disappointed with her results. She finished fifth in the 50m backstroke and sixth in the 50m freestyle.
Esther represented Australia for the first time at the World Championships in Durban in 2006. Training with coach Samantha Bloder in Melbourne, Esther’s pet event is the 50m backstroke, which she has held an Australian record for, in addition to Australian records in the S3 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
Outside of training and competing, Esther is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Adelaide. She has already attained an advanced diploma in finance and jokes that she will one day be making lots of money. Esther enjoys reading and watching television show Packed to the Rafters.
She won bronze in the 50m backstroke at the 2011 Para Pacific Championships in a promising performance, alongside two gold medals at the 2011 SA State Championships. Esther paints her toenails prior to every race and hopes this routine will help her in the quest to win a medal at London 2012.