Student of Faculty of Psychology UGM, Laura Aurelia Dinda Sekar Devanti, has scored another international award for winning 4 medals at the World Para-Swimming Championship from June 7-10, 2018.
The young woman has won 2 gold medals from the women’s 50 meters butterfly in 44,48 seconds and 50 meters backstroke in 42,81 seconds. She also won a silver medal from 50 meters freestyle in 4,08 seconds and a bronze medal in 200 meters freestyle in 3 minutes and 02,71 seconds.
The World Para-Swimming Championship is an annual swimming competition for world athletes with a disability. As many as 500 athletes from 50 different countries around the world joined the competition.
Laura is one of Indonesia’s athletes with a disability that succeeded in the prestigious world competition. This time Indonesia assigned 9 athletes and obtained 3 gold medals, 6 silver medals, and 5 bronze medals.
Laura’s victory in this competition adds to her collection of medals from previous competitions. The single daughter of David Haliyanto and Jeanne D’arc Ni Wajan Luh Mahendra has collected at least more than 50 medals.
Her latest achievement was a gold medal from the ASEAN Para Games in 2017. In the Southeast Asian disabled multi-sport event, she managed to score the shortest record in 1 minute and 30,27 seconds from the S6 100 meters freestyle. Then, in the National Paralympic Week XV 2016, Laura earned 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal in S9 class.
Laura’s passion for swimming has grown since childhood. She has learned to swim since the third grade of elementary school. She initially joined a swim club as a therapy for her asthma and it eventually became a hobby.
The girl born in Pekanbaru, September 22, 1999, was not a disabled person at first. She was born with no birth defects. However, due to an accident, Laura lost her ability to walk. She uses a wheelchair to support her daily activities.
“In 2016, I slipped on the bathroom floor and I lost my ability to walk,” she explained.
Despite her disability, Laura was still able to score outstanding achievement in various competitions. Her success reminded her that disability is not an obstacle. Laura then encouraged fellow disabled people to keep optimistic regardless of the adversity.
Laura is one of the disabled students who is studying at UGM. Her character inspires us that disability is not an obstacle to succeed.