Rio may be half a world away but two-time Paralympian Maddi Elliott will have the comfort of knowing she has a ready-made cheer squad back home.
The 17-year-old departs on Monday with the Australian swimming team ahead of next month’s Games, but not before her school mates at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College sent her off in style.
With assemblies for both secondary and primary students, a guard of honour and farewell gifts, Elliott said she was encouraged by Thursday’s showing of support.
“It felt quite good to have that support and the amazing send off,” the girl from Gillieston Heights said.
“I knew something was happening but I didn’t expect it to be that big.
“It made me feel like they would all watch me swim over the next couple of weeks.”
She will contest five individual events and potentially two relays from September 7.
As world record holder and Commonwealth Gamnes champion she goes in as favourite for the S8 women’s 100 metres freestyle.