Breanna Sprenger: the incredible swimmer who overcame the impossible

WE TALK to swimming sensation Breanna Sprenger about everything she has achieved in the face of adversity.



Breanna Sprenger

Breanna Sprenger started swimming at the age of three because of therapy purposes.

BREANNA SPRENGER was born with one arm and no legs. However, being born with such a disability hasn’t stopped her lighting up the swimming world and breaking records left right and centre. 


In her own inspirational words Breanna tells us what it’s like to represent her country and be an ambassador for the Paralympic Movement. Read on to find out her aims and goals for the future and relive some of those glorious moments she’s experienced while competing in the water.


When did you start swimming and who encouraged you to give the sport?

I started swimming at the age of three for aquatic therapy purposes, but I started competitively swimming at the age of nine. Two people encouraged me to try the sport . The first person that encouraged me was my mentor who has the same disability as me and was swimming competitively. The second person that encouraged me was a former Paralympic swim coach. He met me at a meet where I was watching my mentor when I was eight and encouraged me to get off the bench. Unfortunately he passed away a few months after we met so he didn’t get to see me swim but he’s one of the big reasons why I started . 
Breanna Sprenger

Breanna made the 2013 World Championship Team at the age of 11.

When was it you realised you had a real talent for swimming?

The moment I realised I had a talent for swimming was when I made the 2013 World Championship Team at the age of 11.


Who were your biggest supporters and mentors at the beginning?

My biggest supporters in the beginning and still have always been my parents along with my family and friends. My swim coach who has coached me since I started has always been one of my biggest supporters. My biggest mentors at the beginning were the Paralympians who made the 2012 London Paralympic Games along with my mentor.


Breanna Sprenger

Swimming has seen Breanna regularly travel across the US and Canada.

Tell us about some of the earliest swimming successes you had?

The earliest swimming success I had was qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Trials at ten along with making Worlds at 11. I also hold an American Record in the 200 backstroke along with a Pan-American Record in the 100 metres backstroke and I achieved both in 2014 at the age of 13. 

Where in the world has the sport taken you and what have been some of the highlights?

My sport has taken me all over the US and Canada. I’ve been to Montreal, Windsor, and Edmonton in Canada as well travelling all over the US. Highlights include Montreal for the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships and Pasadena, California for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. An early highlight would be Bismarck, North Dakota for the 2012 Paralympic Trials for London. 
Breanna Sprenger

Breanna sees her biggest swimming triumph to date as qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Trials at the age of ten.

What do you see as your single biggest swimming triumph?

The single biggest swimming triumph I see is qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Trials at the age of ten. It was at my first meet at the Olympic Training Center and qualifying was very unexpected.

What do you hope to achieve in the sport in the future?

I hope to spread awareness about the Paralympic Movement and to show the public that athletes with disabilities are still elite athletes. What I hope to achieve in the pool is to make Team USA again along with breaking more records.
Breanna Sprenger

Breanna is a passionate ambassador for the Paralympic Movement and hopes to break more swimming records in the future.

What would your words of advice be to others with disabilities who are inspired by all your achievements?

Don’t let your disability stop you from being an athlete. Set goals, and dream big and do not let anyone tell you that you can’t be an athlete. Anyone can be an athlete, sport is a global activity that brings people together.

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