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Meet the Team - James O’Shea

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Get to know 2012 Paralympic swimmer James O’Shea. Read his Tweets, view images, watch him in action and being interviewed, check out James in numbers, see how his Paralympic rivals compare, and much more.

James O’Shea



Training base

Barnet Copthall


Rhys Gormley

Paralympic History


In Action

SB5 100m Breaststroke on 5th September

Did you know?

  • James grew up with his family in Zambia and then moved to Somalia. It was very warm in those countries so many people had pools which is where he learnt to swim from a young age.
  • After losing his legs in 1997 James took up dancing. James appeared in a Spanish play which was aired on TV. He travelled around the world with dancing and then from there it led to swimming.
  • James has been involved with swimming since 2006 but only became a full-time athlete in September 2011. He is relatively new to the training regime and will be racing in the Paralympics on his year anniversary since dedicating to the sport.

James' Career

James' rise to the Paralympic team has been a remarkable one, having only taken part in his first event as a registered ASA swimmer in November 2010. Mentored and persuaded to pursue a London 2012 spot by five-time Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, he focused his attention on securing the Paralympic Qualification Time for SB5 100m Breaststroke - his most competitive event. After coming within a second of the time at his first British Gas Swimming Championships in London Aquatics Centre, he finally ducked under the marker at the British International in Sheffield a month later, touching just 0.01 second outside Robin Surgeoner's 20-year old British record. Two months later he passed the record with a personal best at the Berlin Open.

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