Making a splash in the olympic pool

Posted on Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A world record, two gold medals, four silvers and a bronze medal – it is a great haul for any athlete.

Sean Russo did it and more extraordinarily, won those medals even though he is legally blind.

This Revesby local was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that affects vision and may eventually cause permanent blindness.

However this doesn’t stop him from swimming and leading a normal life.

At the recent Australian Short Course Swimming Championship, the 22 year old smashed the previous world record for the 200m individual medley with a quick 2 minutes 12.56 seconds. Sean also collected gold for the 50m and 100m backstroke as well as a few silvers and a bronze.

This set the stage for Sean to represent Australia at the 2013 World Paralympic Swimming Championships in Montreal a few weeks later. While Sean didn’t win any of his categories, he placed a respectable fourth in the 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke as well as the 200m individual medley.

For the past two years, Canterbury League Club has sponsored funds to help Sean go to the 2012 London Paralympic Games as well as this year’s world championship.

“We are proud to sponsor this young athlete in achieving wonderful things for his local community as well as continuing the strong trend of great Australian swimmers competing at world level,” said Dave Brace, CEO for Canterbury League Club.

To read our complete interview with Sean, click here.