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In 2004 Heather was the British Open Water Champion after winning the 10km and the 4.5km British Grand Prix on the same day. But after a serious accident which left her with limited use of her right arm and leg and the need to use a wheelchair, she was told by doctors she would never swim again.

It was in 2006 whilst watching coverage of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne that she decided she was going to swim again and she now competes in the S8 (backstroke and freestyle), SB7 (breaststroke) and SM8 (medley) classifications.

Her first senior swim meet came at the 2007 German Open, in Berlin, but it was at the British Championships in 2008 when Heather was back to her winning ways. Collecting two Gold and two Silver medals from her six events she also set a number of national records.

At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, Heather competed in five events and won four medals. A Silver in the 100m Freestyle was followed by a Gold in 100m Backstroke in which she set an IPC World Record of one minute 16.74 seconds. She won a Bronze in the 200m Individual Medley and a Silver in the 400m Freestyle. In her final event, the 50m Freestyle, she reached the final but finished in 7th position.

At the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, Heather competed in four individual events and one team relay event. Her first medal was a Silver in the 400m Freestyle and two days later she reached the final of the 50m Freestyle but finished 6th. She won Gold in the 100m Backstroke, breaking the world record for the 50m Backstroke en route and won Silver in her final individual swim in the 100m Freestyle. In her last swim of the Games Heather was a member of the women’s 34pt 4x100m Medley Relay team which won Silver.

In addition to her 100m Backstroke world record, Heather is the current holder of the 50m Backstroke world record and also a member of the women’s 34pt 4x100 m Medley Relay team world record holders. Heather holds the current European records in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, 400 m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 100m Backstroke and 100m Butterfly S8 classifications, and holds British records for the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly and 200m Individual Medley in S8 classifications.
Heather Frederiksen is a World Record holder and a Gold medal winning British swimmer who has competed at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Heather Frederiksen at Womenspeakers.co.uk

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