U.S. Paralympics Swi... Features Roundup: Leanne Smit...

Roundup: Leanne Smiths Journey Highlighted In Swimming World

By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 15, 2022, 2:20 p.m. (ET)

Leanne Smith at the 2022 Para Swimming World Championships in Madeira. (Photo: Ralf Kuckuck)

Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para swimming. Here’s what you missed!


Smith’s Journey From The Y

Leanne Smith’s journey to becoming a Paralympic silver medalist and 10-time world champion began at a YMCA in Massachusetts nearly 10 years ago after she was diagnosed with dystonia, a rare neurological muscle disease.


She began as a club gymnast and teacher at the Greater Beverly YMCA, turned to swimming in a rehabilitation program and is now coming off a swim season in which she won seven world championships and set four world records at the World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal.


“With my performances at worlds, it just kind of solidified that I’m on the right track with what I’m doing here and that I am not washed up,” she told swimmingworldmagazine.com.


Read more about her journey here.

And here’s a look back at Leanne’s trip to The White House:

Swimmer Turns Coach In Texas

Lindsay Grogan, a 2016 Paralympian who now coaches in Austin, Texas, was named winner of the ASCA Impact Coach of the Year award.


She began swimming at age 7 with the Macon Waves in Georgia and in high school she joined the Georgia Blazers, a state team for youth with physical and visual disabilities.


Marks Hands Out Medals

Elizabeth Marks, who has won five medals at the Paralympic Games and four medals at world championships, reversed her role and handed medals at the Warrior Games.


“Putting medals on people is one of the coolest experiences, ever,” she wrote on her Instagram account. “It was an honor to attend the 2022 Warrior Games as a mentor.”


The Warrior Games were held in August at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Florida.

Baseball Time For Coan

Four-time Paralympic gold medalist McKenzie Coan put on her Dodgers cap and headed out to Chavez Ravine for a ballgame.

Hermes on Eyes Free Podcast

McClain Hermes, a two-time Paralympian who is visually impaired, recently went on the Eyes Free Sports Podcast to talk about the Paralympic Games, college athletics and helping the homeless.

Around the World: Paralympians Join Coldplay

Ready to join the Weirdos with Coldplay?


Canadian Paralympic swimmers Danielle Kisser and Tess Routliffe were included in a Coldplay music video that has gotten more than 4.9 million views on YouTube since July. The swimmers were training in Phoenix when a Coldplay video director approached them about accepting a cameo appearance on the video.


The song in the video, “Biutyful,” is sung by Coldplay’s fictional puppet band, the Weirdos.


“It was really a cute video,” Routliffe told Paralympic.org. “The moral of that video is everyone has their place, everyone’s got to make it where they are. You might have a few troubles to get there, but everyone has their place.”


Watch the video here.

Paul D. Bowker

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to USParaSwimming.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.