The swim team was full of fresh-faced talent

Sam Bramham (left) and Matt Cowdrey were two of the rising young stars of the Australian swim team at the Athens summer Paralympics. Cowdrey pipped Bramham by 1/100 of a second to take silver in the men’s S9 100m butterfly. The two were members of the 34 point relay team that won gold in the medley relay and silver in the freestyle. The swim team was Australia’s most prolific sport in Athens, coming home with 35 medals, although just six were gold. For head coach Brendan Keogh, it was part of a long-term plan and the results pointed to future success. Bramham later went on to become well known as a contestant on the reality TV show Big Brother Australia for more than 7 weeks and, in 2017, he competed in the first season of Australian Ninja Warrior. Cowdrey’s post-swimming career took a different path when he was elected to the South Australian state parliament in 2018.