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Ten USC athletes are ready to impress at Paralympics

19 Aug 2021

Ten athletes affiliated with USC are this week heading to Tokyo for the Paralympic Games, which will begin with an opening ceremony on Tuesday 24 August.

Six of the athletes – Ben Hance, Blake Cochrane, Braedan Jason, Katja Dedekind, Keira Stephens and Ruby Storm – are USC Spartans swimmers, while one is former Spartans swimmer Ellie Cole who completed a cross-institutional degree while at USC.

The contingent also includes USC graduate and wheelchair basketballer Hannah Dodd, cyclist Alistair Donohoe who trains with the USC-based Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, and wheelchair rugby player Chris Bond who receives coaching and training advice from USC’s High Performance Sport academics.

Details about each athlete are featured on a USC webpage entitled ‘Ready to impress in Tokyo’, and a full schedule of their events is listed below.

The webpage contains a video about Dedekind, a USC Bachelor of Arts student, who is eager to compete at her second Paralympics after winning bronze in 100m backstroke in Rio when she was just 15.

She said attending the Games with such a large group from USC, including Spartans coach Nathan Doyle, would help her stay relaxed ahead of her events in 50m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle.

“To be heading to Tokyo with the people that I see every day and I swim with, I think it’s going to make it much easier to be away from home for so long,” she said. “They’re like my second family now.

“I actually don’t have a dream job out of swimming. I think I am living that dream where I get to be an athlete 24/7 and I get to go and represent my country at the Paralympics, not just for the first time, but for the second time as well.”

Five of the other athletes have competed previously at the Paralympics, with Cochrane and Cole now both four-time Paralympians, Bond attending his third Games, and Jason and Dodd making their second appearances.

Dodd competed in equestrian at the London Games in 2012, and her selection for wheelchair basketball makes her one of only two athletes bound for Tokyo who have represented Australia in more than one sport at the Paralympics.

The schedule of events for the 10 USC-affiliated athletes (with all times listed as AEST) is on the following pages:

Wednesday 25 August

  • Ellie Cole in 400m freestyle heats soon after 10am, with finals in the evening
  • Ben Hance in 100m butterfly heats at 11.11am, with finals in the evening
  • Ruby Storm in 100m butterfly heats at 11.18am, with finals in the evening
  • Keira Stephens in 50m freestyle heats at 11.48am, with finals in the evening
  • Chris Bond in wheelchair rugby v Denmark 12.30pm
  • Hannah Dodd in wheelchair basketball v Japan 3.45pm

Thursday 26 August

  • Hannah Dodd in wheelchair basketball v Germany 10am
  • Keira Stephens in 100m breaststroke heats at 11.31am, with finals in the evening
  • Katja Dedekind in 100m backstroke heats at 11.47am, with finals in the evening
  • Chris Bond in wheelchair rugby v France 6.30pm

Friday 27 August

  • Ruby Storm in 200m freestyle heats at 10.40am, with finals in the evening
  • Braedan Jason in 400m freestyle heats at 11.41am, with finals in the evening
  • Katja Dedekind in 400m freestyle heats at 11.55am, with finals in the evening
  • Alistair Donohoe in cycling 4km individual pursuit sometime between 11am and 5.15pm
  • Chris Bond in wheelchair rugby v Japan 12.30pm

Saturday 28 August

  • Alistair Donohoe in cycling team sprint qualifying and finals sometime between 11am and 1.50pm
  • Ruby Storm and Ben Hance in mixed 4x100m freestyle heats at 12.17pm, with finals in the evening
  • MAYBE – Chris Bond in wheelchair rugby semifinals at 12.30pm or 6.30pm
  • Hannah Dodd in wheelchair basketball v Great Britain 9.30pm

Sunday 29 August

  • Katja Dedekind in 50m freestyle heats at 11.21am, with finals in the evening
  • MAYBE – Chris Bond in wheelchair rugby finals at 3pm (bronze playoff) or 7pm (gold playoff)
  • Hannah Dodd in wheelchair basketball v Canada 9.30pm

Monday 30 August

  • Ellie Cole in 100m backstroke heats soon after 10am, with finals in the evening

Tuesday 31 August

  • Braedan Jason in 100m freestyle heats at 10.30am, with finals in the evening
  • Ruby Storm in 200m IM heats at 10.59am, with finals in the evening
  • Ellie Cole in 100m freestyle heats soon after 11.30am, with finals in the evening
  • Ellie Cole in 4x100m freestyle relay heats soon after midday, with finals in the evening
  • Alistair Donohoe in road cycling time trial sometime between 9am and 6.15pm
  • MAYBE – Hannah Dodd in wheelchair basketball quarterfinals at 1.30pm or 7.15pm

Wednesday 1 September

  • Blake Cochrane in 100m breaststroke heats at 10am, with finals in the evening
  • MAYBE – Hannah Dodd in wheelchair basketball semifinals at 7.15pm

Thursday 2 September

  • Ben Hance in 100m backstroke heats at 10.02am, with finals in the evening
  • Ruby Storm in 100m backstroke heats at 10.10am, with finals in the evening
  • Keira Stephens in 4x100 breaststroke heats at 11.12am, with finals in the evening
  • Ellie Cole in 4x100m medley relay heats soon after midday, with finals in the evening

Friday 3 September

  • Keira Stephens in 200m IM heats at 9.09am, with finals in the evening
  • Braedan Jason in 100m butterfly heats at 10.19am, with finals in the evening
  • Alistair Donohoe in cycling road race at 10.30am

 Saturday 4 September

  • MAYBE – Hannah Dodd in wheelchair basketball finals at 7.15pm

— Terry Walsh

USC Spartans swimmer Keira Stephens

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Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging twalsh@usc.edu.au +61 7 5430 1160
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) cmckay@usc.edu.au +61 7 5456 5669

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