Elena Semechin, born Krawzow

Nickname: Ecki

Date of birth: 26.10.1993

Sport: Swimming

Sporting successes: Paralympics winner, World Champion, European Champion

Occupation/education: Physiotherapist

Elena Semechin is the reigning Paralympic champion in 100m breaststroke and multiple world and European champion. She was born in 1993 in a small village in the south of Kazakhstan and came to Germany via Russia when she was eleven years old.

Due to a progressive hereditary visual impairment (macular dystrophy), she was sent to a boarding school in Nuremberg, where she first learned to swim at the age of 13. As late as her passion was ignited, Elena devoted herself intensively to the sport of swimming.

As a newly qualified, state-certified physiotherapist, she went to Berlin and with the improved training conditions and not least thanks to her new coach and now husband, began her rapid rise to the absolute top of the world. Shortly after her greatest triumph, the Olympic victory in Tokyo, Elena received the unexpected diagnosis of brain tumor (diffuse astrocytoma). As a result, Elena faces a very special task in life: to fight the incurable cancer and still achieve top athletic performances. Elena says: "Despite the brain tumor and the visual impairment, I never took my "eyes" off the podium."