Freney named Paralympian of the Year

Skennars Head golden girl Jacqueline Freney has been named Australian Paralympian of the Year after winning a record-setting eight gold medals at the London Paralympics.
Skennars Head golden girl Jacqueline Freney has been named Australian Paralympian of the Year after winning a record-setting eight gold medals at the London Paralympics. Deb Milgate

SKENNARS Head golden girl Jacqueline Freney was named the 2012 Paralympian of the Year at an awards ceremony in Sydney.

The announcement was made by the Australian Paralympic Committee.

The 20-year-old swimmer won eight gold medals at the London Paralympics - one for each event she competed in.

She had six individual victories, two relay wins and broke two world records.

Freney was also awarded Female Athlete of the Year and is now Australia's most successful athlete at a single Paralympics.

"It is an absolute honour, I didn't expect this at all," she said.

"To be acknowledged by the Australian Paralympic Committee and know that they are behind me is such a good feeling.

"I knew I'd be up against a tough field of nominees and to have my dedication to swimming acknowledged is phenomenal.

"It's been a pretty busy time since London and I've really enjoyed the post-Games atmosphere.

"All my hard work has finally paid off and to win this award and experience the amazing public support is a wonderful thing."

Australian Paralympic Committee chief executive, Jason Hellwig, said Freney could now be considered among Australia's sporting greats.

"Jacqueline has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is today, so it's great to see her recognised in such an iconic way," he said.

"She is an exceptional athlete and her outstanding achievements at this year's Paralympic Games make her very worthy of this recognition."

Topics:  jacqueline freney paralympics swimming

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