‘Scooter’ Patterson achieves childhood dream of Paralympic medal glory


Far north Queensland swimmer Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson says he is ecstatic at achieving his childhood dream of winning a Paralympic medal after securing a podium finish alongside long-time friend Ahmed Kelly on Saturday.

Scooter — who takes his nickname from the modified trike he uses to get around — missed out on a medal at the London 2012 Paralympics and failed to qualify for the Rio 2016 games.

Winning bronze in the men’s 150m individual medley SM3, the first of five events Scooter has qualified for at Tokyo 2020, is the culmination of more than a decade of training.

“In the day before, I had a lot of emotions running through my head, and it just built up to the night itself, but I executed the race plan, managed to secure bronze, and I’m just ecstatic,” Scooter said.

“I’m over the moon to have finally achieved it.

‘I didn’t care what medal I got.’

Scooter’s Cairns-based swim coach, Andrew ‘Herbie’ Howard said sharing the podium with Kelly was especially significant for the 32-year-old.

“Ahmed and Scooter have been mates for probably 10 or 12 years now,” Mr Howard said.

“If they go away on the Australian team, they’re always rooming together. Ahmed comes up here and trains with us sometimes. They’re really good mates.

“To be on the podium with Ahmed I think made it even more special.”

Australian medallists Ahmed Kelly and Grant Patterson are either side of Jesus Hernandez on the podium at the Paralympics.
Ahmed Kelly (left) and Scooter Patterson (right) take the podium with gold medalist Jesus Hernandez Hernandez of Team Mexico after the men’s 150m Individual Medley SM3 final at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.(

Getty Images: Buda Mendes


For Scooter, it was indeed a special moment.  

“How often do you get to compete in the games, in the final, with your best mate and both win a medal,” he said.

After failing to reach the final of the men’s 50m backstroke SM3 yesterday, Scooter now turns his attention towards his final three events: men’s50m breaststroke SB2, men’s 50m freestyle S3 and the men’s 200m freestyle S3.

Having secured the Paralympic medal he has been chasing for more than a decade, Scooter said his eyes were now firmly placed on a second.

Portrait of man with long blond beard smiling
Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson shaved his trademark beard ahead of his first event at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.(

ABC Far North: Sharnie Kim


“[Winning the medal] took a lot of pressure off, that’s for sure,” he said.

“It’s something that I’ve worked towards for so long, and I’ve told everyone that I’m chasing that elusive Paralympic medal, and now it’s not elusive anymore because I’ve got it.

Scooter was born with a rare genetic disorder called diastrophic dysplasia.

He has a lack of cartilage in his joints and curvature of his bones and spine.


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