|Full name||Olesya Yuriyevna Vladykina|
February 14, 1988 |
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||58 kg (128 lb)|
Olesya competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing and won a gold medal. She finished fourth in the 200 metres (660 ft) individual medley and set a new world record in the 100m breastroke on her way to winning the gold medal.
She started learning professional swimming at Young People's Olympic Reserve Sports School 47 and practiced professionally for 10 years until her entrance to Moscow State University of Railway Engineering, when she concentrated on her studies, leaving active swimming for a year until her injury.
She lost her left arm when she and some friends were in Thailand on holiday and their touring bus capsized; she also suffered the loss of her best friend, fellow athlete Alexandra, in the crash. She resumed training a mere month after she was released from the hospital, and only five months later she won the Beijing Paralympic final.
When she returned to her swimming coach after the injury, he himself tried swimming with an arm behind his back, found it unusually difficult, and promised to introduce this mode of training to his other charges.
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