Aussie swimmer’s amazing comeback story after horror bike crash left her so badly hurt her parents were told to say their goodbyes

  • Leary was left with a life-threatening brain injury
  • She now competes as a Paralympic athlete
  • Looking forward to competing in Paris this year

Swimmer Alexa Leary has opened up about her journey to the Paris Paralympics after her life took a drastic turn after a shocking cycling accident left her with a brain injury.

In July 2021, a 70 km/h crash during triathlon training left Leary with emergency surgery to keep him alive.

Her parents Russ and Belinda were advised to prepare their goodbyes, and even when their daughter pulled through, they were told she was unlikely to walk or talk again.

Leary has since made an amazing return to sports and says she is changing the relationship she has with herself.

A year ago, she admitted to a behavior coach that she didn’t love anything about herself – but that changed everything.

The swimmer Alexa Leary says she changes her relationship with herself after Paris

The swimmer Alexa Leary says she changes her relationship with herself after Paris

Leary was fighting for her life after a bike accident left her with severe brain damage

Leary was fighting for her life after a bike accident left her with severe brain damage

‘I’m excited for Paris. I’m actually looking forward to it and I’m like, ‘Come on Lex, let’s do something good here. I’m going to do so well. I know I will,’ the 22-year-old said Wide World of Sports.

“Every day I write an affirmation on the mirror and I look at it and I believe it and I think it throughout the day… It’s like, ‘You love yourself, Lex. Look who you are. You must learn to love yourself’.

“So that’s a big deal for me.”

Leary, who represented Australia at the world titles in Switzerland where she finished second in 2019, says she still has her bad days and that will be the case for the rest of her life.

“Some days are really hard for me because my brain is just not normal,” says Alexa.

‘It just doesn’t work as well as it used to.

‘I struggle sometimes, but that’s okay; I’ll get through it.’

In 2023, Leary won a gold medal at the world championships in Manchester, beating the rest of the field in the women’s 100m freestyle S9 event.

Leary says some days are still very difficult for her because of the brain injury

Leary says some days are still very difficult for her because of the brain injury

Leary won gold in the 100m at the world championships in Manchester in 2023

Leary won gold in the 100m at the world championships in Manchester in 2023

“I’m more than happy about it,” said a delighted Leary after taking the podium at the time.

‘I’ve come this far, it’s a big thing for me that I’ve pushed through.

‘The reason I’m here is because the people around me support me non-stop.

“I’m actually really proud, I’m like, ‘Yeah, Lex, you’ve outdone yourself’.”