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HIGGINS Nate
Sport Para cross-country, Para swimming
NPC United States   
GenderMen
Age36
Height1.68 m
Weight 57 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW10
Further Personal Information
Higher education
Business - Gonzaga University: Spokane, WA, USA
Sport Specific Information
Club / Team
Tri City Channel Cats: Richland, WA, USA
Coach from which country?
United States
General Interest
Most influential person in career
US swimmer John Naber and swimming coach Jennifer Tonkyn. (Athlete, 30 Oct 2011; hopeunseen.com, 05 Nov 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"To me, real 'risk' is the risk of getting to the end of your life and having regrets over the things you didn't do." (hopeunseen.com, 05 Nov 2018)
Other sports
He competed at the US Paralympic trials in 2011 in swimming, and aims to compete in Para athletics at the US Paralympic trials for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (tri-cityherald.com, 01 Sep 2018)
Impairment
In 2004 while working on a roof, he fell three metres onto concrete, resulting in paralysis from the chest down. He also suffered a brain injury, broken ribs, and a broken wrist. (kndo, 02 Apr 2011; hopeunseen.com, 05 Nov 2018)
Other information
MULTI SPORT ATHLETE
His first experience in elite sport came through Para swimming, when he joined the US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, United States of America in 2011 hoping to compete at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. He did not qualify for the Games, but continued to train over the next seven years, switching to shot put with the aim of qualifying for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "I can't guarantee I'll make the [Paralympic] team in 2020. I can't guarantee that I'll win a gold medal. What I can tell you is that I plan on being more consistent than anybody else." (tri-cityherald.com, 01 Sep 2018)

TAKING UP SWIMMING
He became interested in Para swimming after facing mental health issues as a result of his impairment. "When I was attending Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, I went through a period of time where I was extremely depressed. It got severe enough that I chose to take a semester off and focus on my mental health. It was during this time that I remembered the promise I had made to myself that I would represent Team USA. I chose to pursue swimming. Learning how to swim after my accident was a life-changing moment for me. When I first started to learn to swim, I could not swim across the pool using freestyle, backstroke, or butterfly to save my life. It took months of practice before I could do a 25m swim of butterfly or backstroke. In just over a year, I went from that starting level to being able to qualify for the [US] Paralympic trials." (hopeunseen.com, 05 Nov 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
He has served as a member of the Swim with Mike Scholarship board of directors, and mentors young swimmers who have been granted a scholarship through the programme. The programme is named after US swimmer Mike Nyeholt, who was paralysed following a motorcycle accident. "This guy came up to me at a swim meet wearing a USC polo shirt and encouraged me to apply for a 'Swim with Mike' scholarship for physically challenged athletes. The guy [who] interviewed [me] was John Naber. I promised him that if 'Swim with Mike' gave me a scholarship, I'd be a positive return. I'd raise more money for them than the full-ride scholarship." (hopeunseen.com, 05 Nov 2018; tri-cityherald.com, 01 Sep 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
There are no major results available for this athlete.