Michael has his eye on Paralympic gold
A BRONZE, silver and now, former Bellingen local Michael Anderson hopes he can finally add a Paralympics gold medal to his swag of medals at the Rio games.
The 28-year-old swimming sensation qualified for the 100m backstroke by taking out the race with his second best time at the Australian Championships last week.
Mr Anderson said a gold in Rio would be the perfect finish in what may be the final race of his career.
The swimmer was contemplating calling it a day after Beijing, then London, but decided to push on.
The decision has paid off for Anderson, who is now on the road to the Rio Games.
Qualifying is only half the challenge for the multi-class athlete.
"I made the team, that's one box ticked, but the end goal is that individual gold medal, that's sort of the aim," Anderson said.
While he may continue his swimming career for one more year, Anderson said it was most likely Rio would be his last dive off the blocks.
"This will sort of be the last hurrah, so I'll give this everything - as I have in the past," he said.
Anderson said swimming had "opened a phenomenal amount of doors" that provided him the opportunity to travel and meet people from around the globe.
"It's obviously not the best thing financially, Paralympics and swimming, but I'll never look back on it with regret that's for sure," he said.
Looking back on his career, Anderson credited his success to one of his first coaches, Leigh Eastwood, who supported him from the very beginning of his swimming career.
"A lot of this is the result of that original guidance from Leigh," the thankful Paralympian said.