An Australian star’s swagger attracts worldwide attention after its stage flight display in the Tokyo pool.
Australia has a cult new hero.
Queensland larrikin Grant “Scooter” Patterson became a larger than life figure at the Tokyo Paralympic Games with his poolside antics and quick interview gags, stealing the limelight both at home and from a global audience. .
The 32-year-old won silver in the men’s 50 breaststroke on Tuesday, his second medal in the Tokyo pool after winning bronze in the 150m individual medley SM3 category.
He returns home with golden memories and golden laughs that all of Australia have been able to enjoy this week.
The man, who is affectionately known as the “Scooter” because of the modified scooter he carries, suffers from diastrophic dysplasia, a form of dwarfism.
He may have won silver on Tuesday, but he was still the center of attention at the medal ceremony after taking to the podium riding his signature tricycle.
With serious swagger, Patterson lived up to his reputation as the buffoon that Australia’s Tokyo team needed.
He also knows it.
Patterson told News Corp’s Julian Linden on Tuesday that his phone was melting as he continued to make headlines around the world.
“It’s getting crazy,” he said.
“I am very grateful to everyone back home who supports me, but I almost need a receptionist here to answer all messages because I don’t like to let people run.”
Just another classic gag, Patterson just couldn’t help but jump into the mix.
He’s come a long way for an athlete who missed out on qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Nine years after competing for the first time at the 2016 Games in London, he finally has the medal that can never be taken from him.
“To come away with a bronze medal and a silver in this competition is quite special,” he said.
“I’ve been looking for a Paralympic medal for 13 years, so to have a bronze and a silver medal, I’m in heaven.
“The Paralympic Games are held every four years, but this one is even more special because you have to wait another year, so five. “
He went on to say, “I’m over the moon to have finally reached it.
“I am living proof that if you follow your dreams long enough, they might come true.
“I didn’t care what medal I got. “
The Cairns local will also compete in the S3 50m freestyle on Thursday and the S3 200m freestyle on Friday.