Aussie swim star Blair Evans has overcome countless injury battles to become an inspiration to all.
Born and raised in Perth, 25-year-old Blair Evans played every sport under the sun as a child, including swimming from the young age of 6. She quickly developed a competitive drive to become as good as her older brother.
However, at the age of just 11, Blair was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, a chronic bone infection that affected her right hip and her long and ongoing battle to recovery began. After two huge operations and multiple complications, Blair described the next four years as “an incredibly tough time of my life.”
Despite enormous support of her family and an intensive rehabilitation program, she was left with arthritis in her hip joint that she will have to manage for the rest of her life.
Due to her need for gentle rehab and recovery, swimming became the only sport she could participate in. “Being the only one of my friends not playing a team sport, participating in a lone sport like swimming took a toll on my happiness and I felt like I was missing out on so much of the fun all kids get to experience playing sport.”
However, over the following 2 years her ability and appetite to succeed in the pool grew and grew. Her dedication and perseverance paid off and between the ages of 17 and 20, she was selected to compete at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, winning 3 gold and 1 silver medal in the 800m and 200m freestyle individual and relay events.
Her success continued, making the team for the London Olympics in 2012 and coming home with a silver medal and a PB in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay. Described as being “absolutely stoked to bring home an Olympic medal,” Blair then took some time off to recover and refocus and spent 9 months living on the Gold Coast where she “really grew up and truly found my independence.”
Injury struck again in the following years, developing the classic “swimmers shoulder” caused by bursitis and tendonitis in the joint and underwent yet another surgery to try and fix the problem. “Having yet another battle to overcome really gave me time to find myself as a person and what goals I wanted to achieve.
I’m so grateful for that tough stage of my life because it allowed me to develop better relationships with myself and the important people in my life.”
Consistent drive and determination landed her a spot on the Australian team for the recent Rio Olympics and she now feels she’s in “the happiest place I’ve ever been with my swimming.”
Blair now has her mind and goals focused on progressing in the pool and striving for the next Olympics. She is now a sponsored athlete by remarkable Aussie swimsuit label Funkita, a role that has given her opportunities to shoot in some of the most picturesque spots in Australia. A brand epitomising “fun, colour and inspiring confidence in women of all ages,” her sponsorship with Funkita is another wonderful achievement she’s incredibly proud to have achieved.
Blair’s biggest tips for overcoming all odds and achieving your dreams:
- Self-belief: “Despite having endless support from family and friends, I had to trust my own ability to get to where I am today.”
- Passion: “In all aspects of life, you’ve got to love what you do to succeed.”
- Resilience and perseverance: “My body has been struck down time and time again but respecting its ability to heal and recover has led me to two Olympic Games and I’m so proud of myself for that.”
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