Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson, is a true blue Aussie Paralympic legend from far North Queensland. Having shot to fame at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, Scooter’s wicked sense of humour and his incredible achievements in the pool have created a platform for him to share his journey with the world.
“I am an outgoing midget or short person, or whatever you want to call it (Scooter laughs). I am born with a rare joint fusion disability connected to dwarfism called Diastrophic Dysplasia,” says Scooter.
When Scooter grew up he was aware of the stigma, that people suffering with Diastrophic Dysplasia, faced. He grew up understanding that he was going to have to work harder than anybody else to achieve amazing things and it was in his teenage years that he began to dream of winning a medal at the Paralympics. Scooter started to train twice a day and dedicated his life to becoming a world class athlete.
Scooter formed an incredible bond with his coach Herbie Howard, and has gone on a 13 year journey with him to winning Paralympic medals in Tokyo. Scooter trains approximately two hours in the morning and two hours at night. Without training, Scooter says “I would be spending my spare time chasing Spanish mackerel out at the reef or breaking speed records on the quad bike like the rest of North Queensland.” “I am a hard core North Queensland bogan. No ifs or buts about it.
My passion is winning medals in the pool and my hobbies include fishing/spearfishing, quad biking, running my dogs (I have two Kelpies) beside the quad bike, and recently just built my first go-kart with ‘Scooter’ printed on the sides, ” says Scooter smiling with his iconic grin.
The nickname ‘Scooter’ comes from the three wheeled trike that he scoots around on, enabling him to be very independent at work and home. The name ‘Scooter’ shot to fame around the world during the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo when he won two medals after years of training and the TV coverage that followed. Whilst a dream came true for Scooter winning those medals, the world got to meet the North Queensland larrikin for the first time, as they cheered him home.
“It’s not ‘what happens to us’ that shows our character. It’s how we overcome these challenges, and turn them into positive experiences. For me, I have had the opportunity to be a world class athlete and at the same time help other people realise their own potential. This is my purpose and I love it,” he says.
Scooter loves sharing his sense of humour and is best at laughing at himself. Scooter welcomes people into his world, a world they would never experience. His communication process is invaluable - he gets the stereotype and throws it out the window. Scooter isn’t just a world class athlete, he is the voice of change in a fast evolving world.
Scooters Swimming Highlights:
At the 2009 Australian (Swimming) Open, he came in first in the 100m backstroke event.
He first represented Australia in 2009 at the Arafura Games where he won two gold medals and one bronze medal.
At 2010 Berlin International Championships, he earned two gold medals and one silver medal.
Competing at the 2011 Australian National Championships, he set a world record in the 100m backstroke event. He was a member of the Australian team competing at the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
At the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada, Patterson won a silver medal in the Men's 150 m Individual Medley S3 and two bronze medals in the Men's 50 m Freestyle S3 and Men's 100 m Freestyle S3.
Competing at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Patterson won a silver medal in the Men's 150m Individual Medley S3. He finished fifth in the Men's 200m Freestyle S3 and Men's 50m Breaststroke SB2, sixth in the Men's 50m Freestyle S3 and Men's 50m Backstroke S3 and seventh in the Mixed 4x50m Freestyle Relay 20pts.
At the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, he won the silver medal in the Men's 50 m breaststroke SB2 and the bronze medal in Men's 150 m individual medley SM3.He competed in three other events but did not qualify for their finals.
Scooter is passionate about showing people anything and everything is possible for those living with disabilities and physical challenges. He is focussed on both the 2022 Para WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN PORTUGAL, and the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.
Scooter has his eyes on working in television and media in 2022.