Paralympian of the Year Priya Cooper – swimming

Paralympian of the Year Priya Cooper – swimming
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Swimming champion Priya Cooper OAM is one of Australia’s most successful Paralympians having won an awe-inspiring 16 medals, 9 of them gold. She represented Australia at the Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Summer Paralympic Games.

Cooper has cerebral palsy. She competed in the S8 classification in the backstroke, individual medley, freestyle and butterfly events. In 2015 she became the fourth Paralympian to be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

She was the co-captain of the Australian team twice – in 1996 and 2000 – and she carried the flag at the Paralympic Games closing ceremony in 1992 and 1996.

This short excerpt from New 10 News Perth, broadcast on 3 December 1995, shows the Perth-born Cooper being named Australian Paralympian of the Year in 1995.

Other winners of the award include Louise Sauvage (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998), Michael Milton (2002), Siobhan Paton (2000), Tim Sullivan (2004), Matthew Cowdrey (2008), Jacqueline Freney (2012) and Dylan Alcott (2016).

This is a typical example of a short and uplifting sports story at the end of a news bulletin. It's amazing how much can be communicated in a 20-second clip. Shots of Cooper swimming and posing with medals from her Pan Pacific Games victories succinctly and effectively convey that she is a champion swimmer and elite sportsperson at the top of her game.

Notes by Beth Taylor