CLEVELAND swimmer Daniel Fox continues to break down the barriers – both personally and professionally.
The Paralympian, who turns 25 this month, has scored himself a spot in the Aussie team going to the Rio Paralympics in September.
He is one of 11 swimmers from Queensland in the 31-strong Paralympic swimming team.
Ever the consummate athlete, Fox leaves the accolades and praise to his band of faithful supporters including Redland mayor Karen Williams, brother Justin and fitness trainer mum, Julie.
At Rio, he plans to swim in the 100m backstroke and his signature 200m freestyle.
“I have done the training and I feel ready to get back into the pool and win my crown back,” he said.
“I am focused on doing my best at Rio and I’ve got an extremely solid training schedule, early nights and very little socialising.
It will be the second Paralympics for Fox, who proudly bagged silver in 200m freestyle at the London Paralympics in 2012.
He was just a fraction of a second off breaking the world record in the event but is the current 50m and 100m Freestyle world record holder.
Not one to sit around and wait for success, Fox, a former Iona College student, went on to win gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 200m Freestyle event.
He notes that as his “finest moment”.
But it was his strong performance at last month’s Australian Championships in Adelaide where he was 5/100th of a second off the current world record time in the 200m freestyle - his signature event.
Although he is back into a stringent training schedule ahead of the Paralympics, Fox, born with an intellectual disability, has also worked hard out of the pool.
Mum Julie said one of his biggest achievements was being an ambassador for Life Stream Australia which helps youngsters with intellectual disabilities compete in sports.
In that role, he has visited most of Redland city’s primary schools, swimming clubs and children’s hospitals – all while keeping down a part-time job at McDonalds, where colleagues are left in awe at his easy-going and practical nature.
“He has come such a long way from his early primary school years where he struggled with learning difficulties and a speech/language impairment,” she said.
“He loved all sports, particularly rugby but swimming and cross country were what he excelled at.
“Swimming has taken him all over the world and provided a wealth of life experiences that have enabled him to grow into an elite athlete and a confident young man.”
His hard work out of the pool has also helped the state government pave the way for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme which is set to be rolled out in Redlands between July 2018 and June 2019
The national scheme will start being introduced across the state in the middle of this year.
The Paralympics will be held in Rio from September 7-16.