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COAN McKenzie
Sport Para swimming
NPC United States   
Place of BirthClarkesville, GA, USA
Height1.30 m
Weight 45 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
S7, SB6, SM7
Further Personal Information
Baltimore, MD, USA
Athlete, Education Professional
English, Spanish
Higher education
Political Science - Loyola University Maryland: Baltimore, MD, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming in 2001 at age five.
Why this sport?
"I did therapy at the local aquatic centre while my brothers swam on the swim team. I saw how much fun they were having and it did not take long for me to join. I felt at home and free in the water."
Senior International Debut
Competing for
United States
Paralympic Games
London, ENG
General Interest
Bigmac, Small Fry, Kenzie (Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)
Reading, travelling, spending time with friends and dogs. (, 19 Aug 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning three gold and one silver medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Katie Downey YouTube channel, 26 Jun 2018)
Most influential person in career
Her mother. (Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)
Hero / Idol
US Para swimmer Cortney Jordan. (Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
"I have to have plain Cheerios and peanut butter before I go to the ready room. I have done this since I was still competing as an age group swimmer. It is silly but it's become a ritual and when I don't eat it before I race I feel unprepared and like my routine is off." (WOWOWofficial YouTube channel, 01 Sep 2018; Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"There's literally nothing stopping you the only limitations that exist are the ones that you allow to exist." (, 18 Jun 2019)
Awards and honours
In 2017 she received an award recognising her sporting achievements from the Georgia State Senate in the United States of America. (, 09 Mar 2017)
Famous relatives
Her brother Eli has competed in swimming at collegiate level in the United States of America. (, 01 Aug 2019;, 01 Jul 2019)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (WOWOWofficial YouTube channel, 01 Sep 2018)
She was diagnosed with brittle bone disease in 2001. She has broken over 30 bones and undergone numerous surgeries to insert metal rods into her legs. "When I was 19 days old, I was diagnosed with this bone condition. The doctors told my parents I would never sit, walk, talk. The physical therapist told my parents, 'You can put her on a shelf and shield her from the hard things in life or you can let her live.' That's when everything really changed. Instilling the belief that I am just like everybody else is what sets me apart." (, 18 Jun 2019;, 09 Sep 2016;, 01 Apr 2015)
Other information
She believes technology has played a key role in analysing and improving her swimming technique. "Measuring things like stroke rate, distance per stroke, breakout, and turn times have become a norm in my training. At least once a week we get out the video monitors out and break down my stroke so I can get an idea of what I am doing in the water and how I can get the most out of my stroke. Utilising such technology has been absolutely invaluable to my career. Having the ability to watch and breakdown all aspects of my stroke is a huge tool that I take full advantage of. Taking full advantage of this digital age is what's separating the good swimmers from the great swimmers." (, 24 Jun 2019)

She was appointed to be a keynote speaker at the 2019 LEAD Sports Summit conference in Atlanta, GA, United States of America. LEAD was founded by US swimmer Kara Lynn Joyce. She has also started her own outreach programme called 'Kenzie Kares'. "I get the privilege of meeting and talking to children with physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses by visiting hospitals around the United States of America." (, 24 Jun 2019; Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
6 2012 400m Freestyle S8 5:20.57
1 2016 50m Freestyle S7 32.42
5 2016 100m Backstroke S7 1:25.17
6 2016 50m Butterfly S7 37.87 
1 2016 400m Freestyle S7 5:05.77
1 2016 100m Freestyle S7 1:09.99 
2 2016 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 34 Points 4:20.10
World Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
8 2015 100m Breaststroke SB7 2:02.91
6 2015 100m Freestyle S8 1:10.29
2 2015 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 34 Points 4:25.45
4 2015 400m Freestyle S8 5:06.54
7 2015 100m Backstroke S8 1:26.11
Heats 2015 50m Freestyle S8 33.37
1 2017 100m Freestyle S7 1:10.82
1 2017 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 34 Points 4:38.21
1 2017 50m Freestyle S7 32.75
2 2017 50m Butterfly S7 37.96
1 2017 400m Freestyle S7 5:22.02
6 2019 50m Butterfly S7 37.66
1 2019 400m Freestyle S7 5:09.58
2 2019 4 x 100m Medley Relay 34 Points 4:58.39
1 2019 100m Freestyle S7 1:08.83
2 2019 50m Freestyle S7 32.52
2 2019 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 34 Points 4:24.60