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MCDONALD Darragh
Sport Para swimming
NPC Ireland   
GenderMen
Age24
Place of BirthGorey, IRL
Height1.87 m
Weight 66 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S6
Further Personal Information
Residence
Gorey, IRL
Occupation
Accountant, Motivational Speaker, Public Speaker
Languages
English
Higher education
Commerce - University College Dublin: Ireland
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up swimming in 2005 at the Courtown Swimming Club in Gorey, Ireland.
Why this sport?
His parents got him involved in swimming so that he would feel more comfortable in the water.
Senior International Debut
Year
2006
Competing for
Ireland
General Interest
Nicknames
Curly Fries [because of his curly hair]. (Athlete, 03 Aug 2011)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2015)
Most influential person in career
His parents. (Athlete, 03 Aug 2011)
Injuries
He suffered from a chest injury in 2010 and 2011. The cause of the problem was not diagnosed for six months, and it took another five months to recover fully. (Athlete, 03 Aug 2011)

He has had shoulder injuries. (Bebo Profile, 07 Jun 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If I don't find a way, I'll make one." (Athlete, 03 Aug 2011)
Awards and honours
He was named the Swimmer with an Impairment of the Year at the 2014 Swim Ireland Annual Awards. (swimireland.ie, 13 Apr 2014)
Impairment
He was born without a lower arm and missing both legs below the knees. (irishsportscouncil.ie, 01 Sep 2008; darragh-mcdonald.blogspot.com, 03 Jun 2011)
Other information
RETIREMENT
He announced his retirement from competitive para-swimming in November 2015. "After over a decade of competitive swimming and much thought and deliberation, I've made the difficult decision to retire. This decision hasn't been an easy one but following on from two years of arguments and countless broken deals, I now have to walk away from the madness and focus on life moving forward and the real world." (Facebook profile, 17 Nov 2015)

HISTORY MAKER
His silver medal at age 14 at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing made him the youngest Irish swimmer at the time to win a Paralympic medal. (irishsportscouncil.ie, 01 Sep 2008)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 2008 400m Freestyle S6 5:09.75
1 2012 400m Freestyle S6 4:55.56
8 2012 50m Freestyle S6 33.26
4 2012 100m Freestyle S6 1:08.92
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2013 400m Freestyle S6 5:19.23
Heats 2013 50m Freestyle S6 34.30
4 2013 100m Freestyle S6 1:11.70
3 2015 400m Freestyle S6 5:12.61
Heats 2015 50m Freestyle S6 34.01
Heats 2015 100m Freestyle S6 1:13.41