The story of Paralympian Ellen Keane is nothing short of inspirational
Ireland's Paralympic team are currently preparing for the Rio Paralympics due to start this summer, and their More Than Sport video campaign has been giving us all insights into the gruelling training regimes and dedication evident in all of these athletes.
A video has just been released, chronicling the progress of swimmer Ellen Keane, one of the youngest athletes on the team at only 21 years old. She spoke about her journey, and the obstacles she's overcome.
In the beginning of her career, Keane was put off by peoples' 'pure talent' and it took her a couple of years to realise hard work was the only thing that would see her technique improve.
"It wasn’t until an unsuccessful London Paralympics that reality hit home and I realized I would need to work hard in order to achieve my goals. I’ve committed myself 100% since then and the results are proof of that."
As a Paralympian, it hasn't always been an easy journey for Keane, who admits that as a teenager all she wanted was 'to be the same as everyone else'.
"I was always so insecure about being ‘the girl with one arm’. I used to hide my arm in sleeves."
Being a swimmer forced her to acknowledge who she really was, and helped her become more comfortable in herself, while meeting peers helped too.
"In the pool, there’s nowhere to hide. All you have is your swimsuit, your hat and goggles. This put me in a situation where I had to overcome my insecurities. I also got to meet some great girls from all over the world who are exactly the same as me."
Amazingly, Keane's stint at Rio will be her third Paralympic Games, which is a huge achievement.
Her next step is to compete at the IPC European Open Swim Championships kicking off in Funchal, Portugal this weekend, and after that, she's focused on only one goal.
"I just want to enjoy the ride into the Games. The lead up to a Paralympic Games is intense and exciting and it’s important to enjoy it as well as train hard."
You can watch her brilliant video below: