Stephen Simmonds was only six years old when his right leg was amputated below the knee after a car knocked him off his bike.
Prior to the accident, all Stephen's energy had gone into BMX racing. On the front page of The Canberra Times on this day 36 years ago, readers discovered that 10-year-old Stephen, of Melba, had set his sights to swim for Australia at the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul.
Stephen competed at the National Amputee Games in Canberra. He finished second in the 100m freestyle and his time was one minute, 34 seconds.
He needed to beat that time by 32 seconds if he was to qualify for the Paralympic final.
Having an artificial leg from the knee down had its setbacks, but Stephen was able to talk about the lighter side of it.
Trying out for the school under 10s rugby team, an opponent tackled Stephen around the legs but was left lying on the ground grasping an artificial leg while Stephen hopped off and scored a try. Stephen's ambitions were endless.
At age 11, he started water-skiing and won four gold medals and broke three world records at the 1993 World Disabled Water Skiing Championships in France.
At 14, he competed in the 1989 FESPIC Games in Japan where he won one gold, two silver and one bronze medal in swimming events.