Making four out of six finals at the Beijing Games
Breaking the world record in 200m butterfly in 2007 with a broken zipper
A professional swimmer, surf enthusiast and surf lifesaver, Teigan Van Roosmalen loves the water. Hailing from Bateau Bay on NSW’s Central Coast, it should come as no surprise she has a long and deep affinity with the sea and surf.
Teigan was born with Ushers Syndrome, a hereditary disease affecting her hearing, and was the youngest person in the world to receive a cochlear implant. She also has retinitis pigmentosa. Her disability does not cause her any trouble and it gave her the chance to compete at the 2005 Deaf Olympics.
Teigan competed at the 2008 World Cup in Manchester and won two bronze medals. Later that year at her first Paralympic Games in Beijing, Teigan made the final in four of her six races and set several personal bests. She had to deal with the ignominy of missing the start of the 400m freestyle event after her starting light ran out of battery, forcing the race to be restarted.
Based at the AIS in Canberra, she has returned solid results in the lead up to London 2012. After recovering from a shoulder injury in 2008, Teigan cut more than a second off her personal best in the 100m butterfly in winning bronze at the 2009 World Cup meet in Manchester. Since then, Teigan has continued to excel, including a standout meet at the 2011 Para Pan Pacs, where she won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
Her experience in Beijing was very special for Teigan as she was able to experience many different cultures within the athletes’ village and the Chinese culture outside the village. After Teigan’s tilt at gold at London 2012, she is planning to practice massage in the capacity as a chiropractor or physiotherapist.