Esther Overton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Esther Overton
120411 - Esther Overton - 3b - 2012 Team processing.jpg
2012 Australian Paralympic Team portrait of Overton
Personal information
Full name Esther Overton
Nationality  Australia
Born (1990-03-26) 26 March 1990 (age 27)
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, butterfly, backstroke
Classifications S1, SB1, SM1
Club Burnside
Coach Shelly Camy

Esther Overton (born 26 March 1990) is a former Australian swimmer. She competed at the 2008 and the 2012 Summer Paralympics.


Overton was born on 26 March 1990 in Launceston, Tasmania.[1][2] She currently resides in Enfield, South Australia.[3] As of 2012, she is a student at the University of Adelaide where she is working on a Bachelor of Commerce.[1]

Overton has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita,[1][2] a medical condition which "causes muscle weakness and a tendency for bones to break easily."[4] It also results in joints that are immobile.[2] Her arm has been broken more than forty times, she has coped with multiple bulging discs and had six surgeries on her knee since 2008.[2][5] Because of her disability, she has required the use of an electric wheelchair and is in constant pain.[2]


Overton at the 2012 London Paralympics

Overton is a S1 classified swimmer.[1][5][6] When swimming, she cannot use her arms and uses her head instead of hands on the touchpad.[2] She competes in the 50 metres backstroke, freestyle.[2][5] Overton is a member of the Burnside Swimming Club.[5] She is coached by Shelly Camy, who became her coach eighteen months before the start of the 2012 Summer Paralympics.[4] Part of her training includes Pilates.[2]

Overton started swimming as physiotherapy when she a baby,[3] and started competing at twelve years old.[2] She made her national team debut at the 2006 IPC World Championships in Durban,[1][3] winning a silver medal in the 50 metres butterfly and backstroke events.[7] She competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in two events.[1][2][5][7] Competing in the 50 metres backstroke event, she finished fifth.[5] In the 50 metres freestyle, she finished sixth.[5] Seven weeks before the 2008 Games, she had a collapsed lung and a day before the start of the Games, she broke an arm.[1]

Overton competed at the 2010 Australian National Championships. Prior to the event, she had applied for an exemption so she could wear a swimsuit that had a zipper. When this was declined, she tried to put on a legal swimsuit and broke her arm in the process but she continued competing with the injury.[3] She competed at the 2010 Paralympic World Championships.[3] At the 2011 Para Pacific Championships, she finished third in the 50 metres backstroke event.[1] In October 2011, she got a new swimming coach.[5] Going into the 2012 National Championships, she was dealing with three bulging spinal discs[5] as a result of swimming into a wall three weeks before the event.[8]

Overton at the 2012 London Paralympics

As a twenty-two-year-old,[4] Overton was selected to represent Australia at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in the 50 metre backstroke S2 and the 50 metre freestyle S3 events.[4][5][6][8][9] She was one of three South Australians representing Australia in swimming at the Paralympics.[2]

In April 2013 at the age of 23, Overton retired from professional swimming. She was forced to consider her future after a lack of competitor interest in her classification led to the cancellation her event at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships.[10]

She is an inductee of the Swimming South Australia Hall of Fame. [11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Esther Overton". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2012. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Homfray, Reece. "Esther Overton shows true grit to make Australia's Paralympic swim squad". adelaide now. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Nelligan, Katelin. "Brave bid for glory". News Review Messenger. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d Pietrobon, Laura (2012-06-21). "Northeast coach goes for gold". Leader Messenger. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jones, Erin (13 June 2012). "Breaking the pain barrier". Eastern Courier Messenger. p. 12. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Paralympic swim team revealed". Australian Paralympic Committee. 2012-07-10. Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  7. ^ a b McGarry, Andrew (2008-09-04). "Event Guide: Swimming". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  8. ^ a b Dougherty, Tom (2012-03-23). "Swimmer Esther Overton defies injury at Australian Swimming Championships". adelaide now. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  9. ^ "Cowdrey leads Paralympic swim team - ABC Grandstand Sport - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  10. ^ "Dual Paralympian Esther Overton retires". Swimming Australia. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "SwimmingSA Hall of Fame" (PDF). Swimming South Australia.