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Five-time gold medalist's swim down memory lane

Peter Andersen - Paralympian

One of Denmark’s greatest Paralympians has returned to Bond University and the pool that played a part in his glittering swimming career.

Peter Andersen (Class of 2002) attended Bond as a Study Abroad Program student.

At the time he was already a seasoned athlete, having competed at the Paralympics in Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000).

After his time at Bond, Andersen swam at Athens in 2004 and ended his career with five gold, five silver and five bronze medals.

Now aged 49, he works for the Danish government and serves on the board of the Danish disability sports commission, trying to improve the framework for athletes with disabilities.

Mr Andersen said he has amazing memories of his time in Australia, both at Bond and the Sydney Paralympics where he won gold (400m freestyle S6) and two bronze (100m freestyle S6 and 50m freestyle S6).

“(Sydney) was a huge step forward (for para-athletes),” he said.

“I was not used to swimming in front of a crowd but in the Sydney Aquatic Centre, you had 17,000 spectators and that was just an overwhelming and fantastic experience.”

Mr Andersen said his time at Bond helped put his studies back on track at a time when he was feeling unmotivated.

“Being able to come out and try something new just got me a lot of motivation back and I could swim here as well,” he said.

“I think it's a unique experience here. You have a great campus and I met a lot of new people.

“And you know, I think teaching here is so different. It gets a little bit more practical compared to back home in Denmark. 

“And the weather is better here as well. So for many reasons it's a perfect place to both be a student and also do your (sport) training.”

Other Bond Paralympians include Karni Liddell and Annabelle Williams.

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