Speaking to Olympic swimmer Adri Visser, one cannot help but be caught up in her positive attitude and amazing enthusiasm. She knows what she wants out of life and has shown the commitment needed to achieve it.
Visser was born in 1988 physically disabled as a result of German measles during her mother’s pregnancy.
However, she refuses to be defined by how she looks or even her success in the pool. Instead, she feels that it is her Christianity that should be the guiding light.
“What I have accomplished is overwhelming at times, but thanks to my faith I know that this has happened for a reason and I want to show people from all walks of life what can happen if you believe in yourself,” she says.
When it comes to races, Visser remarks that she is always seen as the underdog, but that only helps push her to prove people wrong.
“I truly feel that nothing can stop me from getting to where I am going. I use the criticism to drive me to accomplish as much as possible.”
Citing competing in the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008 as one of her career highlights to date, she has a firm plan to compete in Rio 2016 and reach the finals and potentially win a medal.
And while her performance in the swimming pool is impressive, it is her passion for life beyond that which reveals a good deal about her character.
“I am not going to be young forever and want to continue making a difference in people’s lives after I retire. I have nearly finished my degree at Potch (North-West University) in human movement studies and ultimately want to qualify in biokinetics and link that to prosthetics. By combining swimming with these two elements, I want to show people with disabilities that the sky is the limit.”
She also wants to continue as a motivational speaker and show people what they can accomplish. Already, she has spoken at many schools and has proven to be the inspiration behind many learners facing their own challenges. — Iwan Pienaar